Amazing Superhero Cyborg Kids with 3D Printed Superpowers

Superhero cyborg Kids

KIDmob is helping kids 3D print their own prosthetics and become… SUPERHERO CYBORG KIDS! Here are some of our favorite new superheroes.

“What happens if we address a missing limb as a blank canvas rather than a disability?” This question, posed by Kate Ganim, co-director of KIDmob, sums up their freaking awesome non-profit.

KIDmob is all about turning kids into superhero cyborgs, using 3D printed prosthetics. They put other prosthetic firms to shame with their creative designs. Plus, the low costs of printing make the process preferable to having professional prosthetics regularly made and re-made. Just like clothes, kids can grow out of a prosthetic fast.

KIDmob has organized one-week design education workshops for kids aged 7-16. Superhero Cyborgs 1.0 was co-hosted in 2014  by Brown University’s School of Engineering and the Helping Hands Foundations. Their second camp, Superhero Cyborgs 2.0, just happened earlier this month at Autodesk’s Pier 9 shops in San Fransisco. The results have been, as you can imagine, absolutely fabulous.

The goal of the camp is two-fold: teach kids about problem solving and designing, while also helping them create their own personalized prosthetic. Each of the kids got to show off their unique personality and style with their design, and they’ve had some fabulous creations–including one device specifically made to poke and annoy siblings. While KIDmob has helped many children show their true superhero form, here are five of our favorites.

Five SUPERHERO CYBORG Kids Show What They’ve Got

Sydney Howard sports a fierce elbow-activated water gun. She explains her own creative choices to Quartz: “Originally I was going to design a glitter gun, but I realized that I had more water fights with my family than glitter fights.”

Just hanging with her waterguns (Image: Sarah O'Rourke/Autodesk)
Check out these (water)guns (Image: Sarah O’Rourke/Autodesk)

Aidan Robinson started his rise to fame with the LEGO hand. Now, he need only swap his hook for a violin-specific attachment or super soaker arm, and he’s ready to go. My personal favorite is the spoon, because that’s just practical. Oh, and the instructions are available here on Instructables. You can read his story in depth here!

So many options... (Image: Matthew Kramer)
So many options… (Image: Matthew Kramer)

Jordan Reeves is the brain behind “Project Unicorn.” It’s a glitter bomb that will literally rain sparkly glitter down upon you. As she explained to Micthere may still be some kinks: “Oh my gosh, they forced me to clean it up. It never leaves. My mom’s already thrilled.” Maybe a vacuum attachment is in order?

BOOM goes the glitter (Image: Sarah O'Rourke/Autodesk)
BOOM goes the glitter (Image: Sarah O’Rourke/Autodesk)

Kieran Blue Coffee, has an “e-NABLE” hand that is equipped with rad LED lights and an aluminum attachment that can carry heavy loads. More importantly, he’s pretty certain his “friends will think it’s cool.”

Light it up (Image: Sarah O'Rourke/Autodesk)
Light it up (Image: Sarah O’Rourke/Autodesk)

David, frankly, knows what he wants in life. He wants to grip things—tennis rackets, metal bars, anything else that can be gripped. Hence, the fabulously named (and this is exactly what I would name it, too) “David’s Versatile Grippy Thingy.” He can Macgyver anything with this baby!

It's positively gripping (Image: KIDmob)
It’s positively gripping (Image: KIDmob)

Okay, we love Superhero Cyborg Kids. Teaching kids about technology, creativity and even how to believe in themselves. What could make for a better camp? Co-director Katie Ganim, who’s older sister was born without a hand, places a lot of faith in kids with disabilities, and notes that they “understand that they’re entirely capable and they’ll figure things out themselves.” Of course, after seeing what they’ve created, that seems pretty obvious to us!

As for the concept of printing and designing, it seemed the parents had more trouble than the kids. Andreas Bastian, 3D Printing researcher at Autodesk explained to Mic:

“(Adults) have a huge amount to unlearn before we start to leverage the technology… Kids haven’t yet learned that. They don’t know the things we treat as impractical or impossible. They’re just happy to try anything that occurs to them. They don’t have those filters. They don’t immediately discount ideas as being impartial or impossible.”

Good job, adults. Way to ruin the party.

Sarah O’Rourke, senior product marketing manager at Autodesk, had some final powerful words on the project:

“It’s about finding the superhero in all of usRegardless of what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s channeling that inner superhero and making it happen.”

For more Superhero Cyborgs check out the KIDmob website.