Robert Downey Jr., the actor who plays the dual roles of Tony Stark and Iron Man in both the Iron Man and The Avengers franchises, was the real-life superhero in the life of one seven-year-old boy this Thursday. He visited with Alex and his family and gave the boy a 3-D bionic prosthetic arm.
Robert Downey Jr. heard about Alex through college engineering student Albert Manero and his company, Limbitless Solutions. Manero had requested help for this particular project, and Robert Downey Jr. was glad to help out. Check out the heartwarming video of Alex meeting Robert Downey Jr., below!
Robert Downey Jr. awaits Alex is a hotel room. Albert Manero leads Alex down a hallway to the room the actor is in, and Robert Downey Jr. has two silver metal suitcases marked Stark Industries with him that he shows Alex. One of them has an Iron Man arm in it, and the other one has Alex’s new bionic prosthetic arm. Alex is asked if he knows who Robert Downey Jr. is, and at first, he says “Iron Man,” but a bit later in the video, he calls him “Robert.”
The social-media outreach program, Collective Project, produced the video featuring Robert Downey Jr. for Albert Manero. Collective Project aids students like Albert Manero in getting wider exposure online.
Alex was born with a right arm that was only partially developed. The bionic prosthetic arm that Robert Downey Jr. presents Alex with looks similar to his Iron Man one, red and gold, with even a light in the palm of the hand of it. Robert tells Alex that he “likes his bow tie.” Alex is able to use the arm through flexing his biceps right from the time it is put on him.
Robert Downey Jr., acting like Tony Stark, praises Albert Manero, and says in the video that perhaps Manero could help him with his suit of armor and get the price down that he paid for his arm, of over $1 billion. Manero probably could assist him, if the actor was actually Iron Man and Iron Man was real, as the student wants to create prosthetic limbs that are not only functional, but also are relatively inexpensive.
Albert Manero had been working with Alex’s family previous to Robert Downey Jr. agreeing to help present the arm to the boy. Manero wanted to make sure the 3-D printed bionic prosthetic arm was perfect for Alex.
Manero donates similar limbs to children in countries around the globe, and he would like there to be 3-D printers placed in embassies in other countries so that children can benefit from the prosthetic designs the engineering student has created.
The bionic prosthetic arm that Robert Downey Jr. gave to Alex was donated, but the actual cost of the materials used to make one is less than $350. The 3-D printer that Albert Manero uses takes anywhere from 50 up to 70 hours to print out the individual parts of each limb. Then, the engineering student spends around 12 hours assembling each of the bionic prosthetic limbs.
Robert Downey Jr. shared on his Facebook page the video and wrote that he had presented “a brand spanking new 3D-printed bionic Iron Man arm to Alex, the most dapper 7-year-old I’ve ever met.” The actor thanked “Albert Manero, OneNote, and #CollectiveProject for their work making artificial limbs like this more affordable.”
Albert Manero was the man behind the gift of the bionic prosthetic arm to Alex, though the boy will probably remember for the rest of his life that actor Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark, was the person who actually presented him with the arm. Check out the cool video below!
Written By Douglas Cobb
Robert Downey Jr. Presenting Bionic Prosthetic Arm to Alex