KIDmob and Autodesk are working together to help kids produce their own customized prosthetics, allowing them to get creative and learn valuable skills at the same time. During their Superhero Cyborgs workshop, kids (both with and without disabilities) work with engineers and designers to produce prosthetics with personality. At the same time, they learn about digital fabrication and 3D modeling. 13-year-old Kieran Blue Coffee developed his “Nubinator,” a hand complete with LED lights and an aluminum feature that helps him carry heavier loads. As for 10-year-old Jordan Reeves, she created a glitter shooter for her arm. Other designs included a Nerf gun, horseback riding attachment, water gun, and a bow-and-arrow addition.
“The kids had a blast and all took ownership over their individual body mods, and were excited enough about the work they did to confidently and articulately share their work and experience in front of a group of 40-plus unknown adults at Pier 9 [the space that hosted the workshop],” KIDMob co-founder Kate Ganim told GOOD. “The parents were mostly amazed that the kids were able to learn and do so much in such a short time frame, and excited that they were exposed to such cutting-edge tools and software.”
Though the workshop has ended, the students are still collaborating with professional designers, with the hope that they can continue to enhance their prototypes. “Kids will hopefully realize that they’re not beholden to whatever devices are available on the market,” Ganim explains. “They can design for their own needs, which creates a beautiful closed-loop cycle where designer equals tester and end user.”