Engineering doctoral student Albert Manero's bionic arm project got a big boost recently after Robert Downey Jr., also known as super hero Iron Man, delivered an Iron Man-themed mechanical arm to a seven-year-old boy.
Manero says he's now in talks with the United Nations and UNICEF to put teams around the world to create and distribute inexpensive prosthetic arms.
"We have had so many requests for new arms and people who want to join the project," Manero told CBC News on Sunday.
The delivery to Alex Pring, who was born without most of his right arm, was caught on video and beamed around the world earlier last week.
"It was incredible to work with Robert [Downey Jr.] for the project," Manero said. "[Alex's] smile during that video is unreal."
Downey worked with Enabling The Future, which helps distribute mechanical prostheses around the world for children in need.
Manero, whose studying at the University of Central Florida, created Limbitless to produce low-cost 3D-printed arms for the disabled.
The one for Alex cost less than $350 US in materials, much cheaper than the $40,000 price tag of some prosthetics. Alex got his at no cost.
Charges like a cell phone
"It now charges just like you charge your cellphone by a little USB cable," explained Manero.
Meanwhile, the mechanical engineering student said Alex is now the project's "number one tester."
"It's been playground-approved and he gives us feedback on what would work better for him...he likes the fact that the elbow can bend now."
Manero says his team is working on making the arm even less costly – lower than $250.
"We're going to keep pushing forward."
This isn't the first time Enabling The Future projects have changed a child's life. In January, a Storm Trooper arm presented by Vader himself was delivered to a seven-year-old Augusta, Ga., boy named Liam Porter.
Check out the video.