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Albert  Manero

Albert Manero

Engineer & Founder, Limbitless Solutions

Biography

As a graduate student at the University of Central Florida, Fulbright Scholar Albert Manero heard a radio interview with the man who invented the first 3D-printed artificial hand. Inspired by the process, he went to the aerospace research lab on the UCF campus and learned how to design low-cost prosthetic limbs that could be delivered to children in unique and surprising ways. Read More >

A year later, the company known as Limbitless Solutions was delivering a prosthetic arm to a Florida child born without an elbow. As the process became more refined, and media interest in 3D printing grew, Manero and his team of fellow students started collaborating with other companies to help realize their vision. In one very special case, Robert Downey Jr. was enlisted through Microsoft OneNote and The Collective Project to present a Limbitless-designed prosthetic to a congenitally deformed youth named Alex, who dreamed of having a bionic arm like the one worn by Downey in the Iron Man movies.

Manero's vision is a heartwarming case study in innovation and entrepreneurship for the modern age, using cutting-edge technology as a means of giving back to communities in need — in this case the children of families who cannot afford traditional prosthetic limbs that cost upwards of $40,000. Employing additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, a layering process in which everyday items are printed out in strips to form low-cost personalized bionics, Manero launched a non-profit organization comprised of innovators who use their skills and passion to improve the world around them. Staffed by volunteers, many of whom are students like Manero himself, and funded primarily through outside investment and private donations, Limbitless currently manufactures prosthetics with a low material cost of $350 per limb.

Central to the groundbreaking Limbitless business model — the company gives away limbs to children and families in need; next year it will donate 75 arms to displaced Syrian children — is Manero's steadfast determination to employ science and technology as tools for helping and inspiring people across the globe. Through his work he aims to reshape the scientific realm by infusing art and aesthetics into an area typically viewed as "cold" or dehumanizing. Expanding the familiar STEM acronym (academic shorthand for science, technology, engineering and math) to include A for art, Manero created Limbitless in the spirit of STEAM — the nexus of art and science where storytelling and engineering function seamlessly as a unified whole. Nothing less than innovation with compassion, employing design imbued with scientific purpose, Limbitless serves as a bold reminder of what technology can achieve through a singular vision and charitable spirit.

Through rousing, thought-provoking presentations tailored to groups and organizations at the corporate and grass-roots level, Manero and members of his team, including videographer Katie Manero, Director of Production Dominique Courbin and Director of Resource Management Tyler Petresky, recount the stories that made Limbitless one of technology's most fascinating companies. In keynote speeches and customized talks, the team recounts how an innovative idea became an affordable alternative to pricy, difficult-to-obtain bionic prosthetics. In addition they share some of the heartwarming stories of how a group of entrepreneurial volunteers working at the community level succeeded in providing children with better lives, improved confidence and what Limbitless calls "3D hope" — the idea that technological innovation can serve as a force for good in the world. For every speaking engagement, the Limbitless team will allocate a portion of its fees to creating more limbs for children in need. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Bionics for Humanity: Disability is Not An Option

RPI Union Speaker Forum 2016

Limbitless Solutions - Iron Man Delivers a Prosthetic Arm

Limbitless Solutions - Blue Man Group Delivers Prosthetic Arm

The Collective Project: Printing 3D Miracles for Kids

Finding the ‘Why’ of Mathematics and Engineering

Speech Topics

Engineering the Future: Using Science as a Tool for Change

One of the prime directives of Limbitless Solutions is to use science and engineering as a tool to help other people, in the process helping to "re-brand" the field as anything but "cold" or dehumanizing. Through innovations in technology like 3D printing and advances in plastics, Manero and his team can effect positive change on both the community and global level through their unique prosthetic-limb manufacturing and distribution program. But this is only the tip of the iceberg for the engineering field — and for Limbitless. In this informative, future-forward presentation, members of the team discuss their own visions of science and engineering (including the projected expansion of the Limbitless output to include wheelchair innovation) and how other groups and companies can effect change in a similar way while helping to reposition engineering as something much more than an isolated, dispassionate profession ruled by anti-social nerds in a lab. 

Designing Change the STEAM Way

Albert Manero foresaw Limbitless Solutions as one part storytelling and one part engineering. To realize his vision, he overhauled the traditional STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math to include art and aesthetics. STEAM is an ethos for the modern age in which art and science are blended — in the case of Limbitless, it was no longer enough to churn out affordable prosthetic limbs resembling the anodyne plastic doll parts of decades past. Through innovations in plastics and additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, the Limbitless team artfully injects stunning design into the process, creating customizable prosthetics — like the replica of Iron Man's bionic arm that was one little boy's incredible wish come true — that are anything but clinical or retrogressive. Equal parts design manifesto and engineering summit, this presentation on STEAM and its numerous merits and applications will enchant audiences while helping them rethink the role of science, technology and design in our everyday lives.      

The 3D Hope of Real-Time Inventions: Limbitless Solutions with Global Impact

Thanks to the technological advance known as additive manufacturing — the industrial version of 3D printing — companies like Limbitless Solutions can produce cheap medical implants in a timely fashion, breaking open its community-level prosthetics program to the global level. The possibilities are endless — and quite encouraging, with one Limbitless project slated for 2016 that will deliver 75 prosthetic arms to displaced Syrian children around the world. In this presentation, Albert Manero or members of his team explore the concept of "3D hope," using breakthroughs in engineering and technology to impact people in need in every corner of the world, from far-flung warzones to our immediate communities, where it's no longer necessary to wait months or even years for a prosthetic limb that once might have cost $40,000 and now costs as little as $350.

Compassionate Investment: Community Involvement & Corporate Responsibility

One of the more heartwarming aspects of the innovative Limbitless Solutions manufacturing and distribution model is the personal care put into the design of low-cost prosthetic limbs that are given away for free to children and families in need, enlisting actors like Robert Downey, Jr. to help deliver the implement. Steeped in joy and compassion, underwritten by larger companies who make this donation system possible, and rife with entrepreneurial spirit, the Limbitless model is one to be emulated or embraced by any company seeking stronger community involvement or deeper insight into compassionate investment. Designed for corporate audiences who want to learn how to give back positively without using grief or guilt to seal the deal, this presentation reverse-engineers the Limbitless story to find bold new ways to conduct business with compassion and conscience.