What an amazing era (sometimes) in which to live: A 5-year-old named Hailey Dawson threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Camden Yards on Monday night using a prosthetic robotic right hand. The hand, themed in black and orange for the colors of the Baltimore Orioles, was formed with a 3D printer after being designed by mechanical engineering students at UNLV.
Hailey was born with Poland syndrome, a condition that leaves a person with pectoral muscles that are underdeveloped and, sometimes, hand abnormalities. In Hailey's case, she has a "tiny pinky and thumb, and little nubbins for middle fingers," says her mom, Yong Dawson. Regardless of her physical limitations, Hailey wants to play baseball like her brother.
Let's see that again:
Let's take a closer look at the hand:
A photo posted by Hailey Dawson (@haileys_hand) onAug 15, 2015 at 8:04pm PDT
Like something in a sci-fi movie, but Hailey's last name isn't Skywalker: She's the real deal.
From MASN, this is a project that can help more than just one little girl throw a baseball:
The new hand, created by UNLV students, has given Hailey the opportunity to do many things that she was unable to do before with her right hand including, you guessed it, gripping and throwing a baseball.
"(The 3-D printed hand) is operated by wrist movement," Yong said. "When Hailey's wrist goes to a down motion, the fingers will grasp and when it goes in the up motion, the fingers release."
While Hailey and Yong are still working with the department at UNLV and with Touro University Occupational Department to develop and fine-tune the mechanics, (Hailey is currently using Version 4 of the hand,) the students' project has already opened up many doors for Hailey and others.
The 3-D printed version is just a fraction of the cost of traditional prosthetics, costing anywhere from "$20 up to a few hundred," according to Yong. In addition, the students' work could help many others beyond Hailey.
"The files to create the hand (are now) available online for free," Yong said. "The original creators of the 3-D hand wanted anyone to be able to print the hand, so they made it available for anyone to download for use. The original hand is called the Robohand. There are many versions available."