Easton LaChappelle was 14 years old when he designed and built his first robotic arm. Ten years later, he’s looking to upend the prosthetics industry.
Today, he is the founder of Unlimited Tomorrow, a company that designs low-cost, 3D printed prosthetic limbs that can be operated with the mind.
Growing up in rural Colorado, LaChappelle taught himself the basics of robotics using YouTube and by Skyping experts around the world. At age 14, he built his first working robotic hand using LEGO bricks, fishing lines, electric tubes and the technology of a Nintendo Power Glove for remote control.
Two years later, LaChappelle says it was a chance encounter at the 2012 Colorado State Science Fair that set him on the path to entrepreneurship. That’s when he met a 7-year-old girl with an “archaic” prosthetic arm that cost $80,000.
Ten years ago, Easton LaChappelle was a teen watching YouTube videos on how to build robot arms from LEGOs. Today, he designs low-cost, 3D printed prosthetic limbs that can be operated with the mind. https://t.co/KeV4oAHCQt
— CNN (@CNN) August 31, 2020
“I was shocked to learn how much it costs, especially realizing that she would soon outgrow it and it would become useless at that point,” LaChappelle, now 24, tells CNN.
After graduating high school, LaChappelle skipped college and launched Unlimited Tomorrow, which recently started taking orders for its flagship product TrueLimb.
“We make a product called TrueLimb,” Easton tells GNN, “an affordable, 3D-printed prosthetic limb that uses a special remote-fitting process that is personalized to your skin tone, shape, and size for the perfect fit.”
TrueLimb costs $8,000, which is a fraction of what most prosthetic limbs cost, CNN reports.
While Unlimited Tomorrow is currently focused on robotic arms, it’s exploring expanding into prosthetic legs and exoskeletons, CNET reports.