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Albert Manero: “Disability should not be an option; we need to engineer hope”

10 February 2016


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The true success of technology in the future is based on compassion, says the founder of a non-profit organisation devoted to bringing bionic limbs to children.

“We have all the technology, but our success will really be determined by our compassion,” Albert Manero, executive director of Limbitless Solutions told the World Government Summit in his talk about ‘Bionics for Humanity’.

Manero – a Fulbright Scholar and doctoral student in mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida – leads a team that’s developing and distributing new 3D printed bionic arms for children around the world at no cost to their families.

“For a number of reasons, access to medical limbs is challenging,” he explained. “Many doctors still recommend hook devices. The more expensive devices cost $40,000 and upwards. [That’s] just not unacceptable.”

The engineer is currently building a platform to supply 3D printed limbs all over the world.

“I get emails from hundreds of parents all over world, more than 60 countries, as far as Uzbekistan and Indonesia. My dream is to help them all,” he said.

Manero is also currently working on technology that, in the future, could blend 3D printed bionics with human cells to retrieve sense of touch. The same technology can also help quadriplegics and those with muscular disorders.

“I hope that will change everything and people will not be defined by a missing part. That’s what happens when you infuse technology and compassion. We need to engineer hope,” he concluded.