Man shows off functional cyborg arm built completely out of LEGO

Voltaggio's arm uses four motors to power three fingers and a thumb attached to a hinged arm brace.
By Matt Bradwell   |   Aug. 14, 2014 at 1:44 PM

CHANTILLY, Va., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- How far has LEGO come since first hitting toy stores 65 years ago? So far that if one were so inclined, they could use LEGO to play with LEGO.

LEGO enthusiast Diavo Voltaggio debuted his homemade cyborg arm, constructed entirely of the iconic blocks, earlier in August at BrickFair in Chantilly, Va., showing off his finger-flexes and shaking hands with fellow enthusiasts.

Contructed with LEGO's Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit, Voltaggio's arm uses four motors to power three fingers and a thumb attached to a hinged arm brace. Voltaggio can manipulate each of the fingers individually and even shake hands.

"It's actually pretty simple," he explained to LEGO enthusiast YouTube channel Beyond the Brick.

"Every time I touch a button, it causes the motor to close, and I release the button, it goes back and [the robotic finger] goes limp."

In addition to batteries that need to be changed every hour, Voltaggio's arm has a very distinct disadvantage: "I gets very heavy."

"I wore it for 3 1/2 hours straight yesterday for the public and I was walking around, shaking people's hands and stuff and it definitely gets a little heavy after a while."

If Voltaggio were looking to have the most meta LEGO experience possible, he could use his arm while helping amputee Christina Stephens improve the prototype of her LEGO leg, as the pair snacked on functional LEGO chocolates by Japanese artist Akihiro Mizuuchi.

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