Boy born without fingers fitted with Robohand

February 8, 2013 3:05:12 PM PST
A science fiction fan has turned his unusual hobby into a life changer for a little boy in South Africa.

He literally made a mechanical helping hand for a child who was born without fingers.

When he isn't selling school supplies, Ivan Owen likes making strange devices.

There's his rapid fire ping pong ball launcher out of a leaf blower and the remote control bowler hat- but it was his costume mechanical hands that caught the eye of a South African watching YouTube.

The two men, ten thousand miles apart, began collaborating.

With a 3D printer, they refined and combined the best of their designs.

A mom in South Africa saw them on Facebook and asked the men to help her 5-year-old son Liam who was born without fingers.

They fitted Liam for the device now called "Robohand."

"And he was excited by the fact that that it looked like a robot hand."

Liam is doing things never expected - picking up coins, holding a basketball.

When he bends his wrist, cables pull and his fingers closed, opening opportunities.

Ivan says he has a dozen requests for Robohands but can't afford to fulfill the orders.

And he made a request of spunky little Liam, you get a Robohand as long as you don't hit anyone with it.

The other amazing part to this story is that Liam's family could not afford a $20,000 mechanical hand.

The men made Liam's for $150.