Everything Is Awesome on This Lego Prosthetic Hand

Customizing artificial limbs, one brick at a time.


Three questions: Why is there not a Noble for Most Purely Joyful Use of Science, can we please instate one, and can we give the inaugural prize to Sweden’s Carlos Arturo Torres Tovar?

Tova, of Umeå University, had one of those ideas you can’t believe no one’s done yet when he designed a prosthetic arm compatible with Legos. The arm is functionally similar to a traditional prosthetic, until you get about mid-forearm where you find a lock that can be fitted with either a standard, three-finger gripper or, the fun part, an attachment made of Legos. Kids are limited only by their imaginations here, which Carlos hopes improves their sense of empowerment and makes interacting with other children a little easier. One day they might have a cybernetic hand, the next, a laser canon.

Legos could be having a moment in the prosthetics game. Last year Christina Stephens made headlines when she unveiled the artificial leg she’d made for herself out of multicolored plastic bricks, though hers lacked the hardware that makes Carlos’s limb so versatile. One step closer to the Human/Lego singularity, and everything is awesome.