At an age when he was expected to be picking out his prom outfit, young visionary Easton LaChappelle was daring to reinvent the prosthetics industry with Unlimited Tomorrow—his Robotics Engineering startup aimed at making life-changing technology accessible to those who need it most. Now 20 years old, Easton is turning the industry on its head with the release of his 3D-printable robotic arm blueprints.
As a child, Easton had an affinity for making things and taking them apart. He often cites curiosity as the force that compelled him to create. But as Easton grew older and his ambitions grew larger, the young inventor realized he would have to be resourceful if he wanted to bring his innovative concepts to life.
"No one person can change the world… someone could take what I’ve done and grow from it and do something more with it…"
With no lab to accommodate his processes and no university to answer his questions, Easton turned to his own devices. At age 14, he engineered a robotic hand from his bedroom using plastic building blocks, fishing wire, model airplane motors, and the technical know-how he acquired from the Internet.
His $350 prototype garnered him third place at a 2011 state science fair. It was here that Easton met a 7-year-old girl fitted with a state of the art prosthetic arm—it cost $80,000 and would need to be replaced multiple times as she grew older. It was then that Easton realized his far-fetched invention had life-changing practicality.
Today, Easton enables humans to perform otherwise impossible tasks through Unlimited Tomorrow, providing problem-solving innovations at an affordable price.
Easton’s robotic arm now has more functionality than a traditional prosthesis and is entirely 3D-printed. The printable designs are available for download, open source and completely free of charge, on Unlimited Tomorrow’s homepage.
Easton’s persistent innovation is disrupting the industry for the betterment of humanity. Moving forward, he hopes to reinvent the landscape of technology with new human-assisting devices. He has already patented an entirely new concept of an exoskeleton that will allow paraplegics to walk again.
Easton believes that daring innovation is the future, and that he is only a small part of it. “No one person can change the world,” he explains. “[…]someone could take what I’ve done and grow from it and do something more with it[…].”
In sharing his inventions with the world, Easton hopes that others will expand upon the technology, driving his impact forward and inspiring greater change.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs
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