Let's be honest. A lot of times, when we invent technology, it's really just a bunch of fancy gadgets and amazing toys. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
But every so often, someone comes up with a piece of technology that truly changes how people can live.
A two year old girl named Emma Lavelle was born with a congenital disorder that stunts the development of her muscles and stiffens her joints. As a result, Emma has never been able to move her arms and has spent much of her life undergoing surgeries and treatments.
Well, researchers at the duPont Hospital for Children have changed that. They developed a robotic Exoskeleton (a type of body cast) that gives kids with muscle weakness much better movement and the ability to lift objects.
Problem was, Emma was too small for the typical Exoskeleton. So, the researchers came up with a lighter one for Emma. They used a 3D printer to make the parts out of ABS plastic (which is also used to build LEGO).
Now, Emma can wear a small plastic jacket that allows her to more her arms freely and much more easily than ever before. You have to see the video. It's incredible.
As Emma grows older, the researchers will have to make her new jackets. But with the 3D printer, they say it should be relatively straightforward.
By the way, the video was produced by Stratasys - the company that makes the 3-D printer the doctors used to make Emma's jacket.