Monday, September 10, 2012

If you can take it apart -- if you can understand it -- you can make it better

This video tells the story of Mark Lesek, managing director of Dynamic Welding and Engineering in Tasmania. In December of 2003, Lesek lost his right arm in a car accident. This left him in need of an artificial arm. The difficulties associated with getting an artificial arm were monumental on every front -- medical, political, financial and technical. A man with great determination and considerable mechanical knowledge, Lesek decided to make his own arm based on historical designs. His patent searches revealed some incredible designs. To these he added his own innovations and together these have led to advancements that will be of benefit to millions.

His statement at the end of the video are words to live by:

It doesn't matter if it's a bike, or an arm, or your life: if you can take it apart, if you can understand it, you can make it better.

You can follow Mark Lesek on Google+, learn more of his story, and stay up to date with what he is up to.

Portrait of Jean Frédéric Leschot

Think prosthetic limbs are off-topic for this blog? Think again. All of the same mechanical components that we marvel over in automata and robots maybe be found in some of the sophisticated artificial limbs. There is a long history of automaton-makers working on and developing prosthetic devices. One good example is Jean Frédéric Leschot. Leschot, the adopted son of Pierre Jaquet-Droz, assisted in the construction of the three masterpiece automata known as The Writer, The Musician, and The Draftsman. Later in his career, he also made artificial limbs using the knowledge he had obtained from making complex life-size automata.

[ Thanks Joseph! ]

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