Access to traditional prosthetics for children is challenging due to high costs, healthcare policies, and technology limits. A local family contacted Albert Manero while he was working on his graduate research. Their six-year-old, Alex Pring, was born without most of his right arm. Alex performed daily activities by making use of his left hand and his mom’s assistance. His family wanted to buy a prosthetic, but the high costs and accessibility challenges made that not feasible. Alex’s mom connected with Manero, then a doctoral engineering student at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Working with a passionate team of engineers and designers, they created a 3-D-printed electromyographic arm for Alex, and Limbitless Solutions was born. Limbitless Solutions is a non-profit direct-support organization at UCF designing affordable bionic arms for children at no cost to families. Dr. Manero and his team advise research and design teams at UCF to improve access to bionics and to conduct research to advance empowerment technology. Engaging with K-12 local schools to promote the social impact that engineering is capable of, the team is looking to develop a more inclusive and creative engineering landscape for the future. Limbitless Solutions has received extensive national recognition for their work, including being featured as part of Microsoft’s Collective Project.
Dr. Albert Manero holds a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF). He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany to pursue his doctoral research on non-destructive characterization of aerospace composites via synchrotron radiation. Dr. Manero is the Co-Founder and President of Limbitless Solutions at UCF. Dr. Manero has received numerous awards, including the Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which allowed him to spend several weeks in Washington D.C. learning about science and technology policy and education. Limbitless Solutions and artistic team members have met White House staff at the White House Design for All Showcase to celebrate inclusive design and assistive technology and the Smithsonian American Art Museum to showcase their accessibility-friendly bionic arm video game training system.