Chicago-based Colombian designer Carlos Arturo Torres is a talented man, but also a sensitive one. In putting together a concept for IKO, a new kind of prosthetic limb for children, he put just as much emphasis on the human aspect of the technology as its engineering. According to The Guardian, Torres said, "There had to be a right balance between a playful experience and something functional."
Teaming up with Lego's Future Lab, the toy company's experimental research department, and Cirec, a Colombian foundation for physical rehabilitation, the prosthetic has sensors that register the activity of the muscle in the stump and send a signal to control movement in the attached limb. That same limb can be customized with an array of different parts.
"My idea was ... to propose a system that was flexible enough for kids to use, hack and create by themselves and with their friends,” said Torres.
Read on to meet Dario, one of the first kids to test IKO.
Dario is missing most of his right arm.
Now meet Dario's awesome new arm.
And the sweet spaceship he can attach to it.
Pretty cool stuff, huh?
Watch out for this kid on the playground. Everyone else will be jealous in no time.
Torres won a Core 77 design award for IKO and said he wanted the project to be "something that could allow kids to explore their creativity, something they could be proud of."
Looks like Dario is well on his way and this is just the beginning.