Skip to main content

Robert Downey Jr. and Microsoft team up to give a 3D-printed arm to a child in need

Iron Man himself, a.k.a. actor Robert Downey Jr., teamed up with Microsoft to offer a very special 3D-printed limb to Alex Pring, a seven-year-old boy that was born with a partially-developed right arm. The festivities were filmed as part of The Collective Project, an effort promoted by Microsoft's OneNote division that spotlights students who are making efforts to help improve the world.

In this case, the student is Albert Manero, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida. He helped to found Limbitless, which has the goal of offering 3D-printed arms to kids that need them for about $350, a far cheaper price than what normal prosthetic limbs cost.. Microsoft first talked about Manero's efforts in a blog post in February (opens in new tab), and that apparently got Robert Downey Jr.'s attention.

Downey may play the part of billionaire inventor Tony Stark, but in this case he helped to deliver an Iron Man-style 3D-printed arm that was created by Manero to give to Alex, who is a big fan of superheroes in general and Iron Man in particular. The video shows Downey and Alex bonding over their bionic arms and generally having a good time meeting each other. It's certainly cool that Downey Jr. wanted to give Alex a very special delivery.

Microsoft is no stranger to 3D printing. It sells MakerBot 3D printers in some of its retail stores and launched a Windows 8.1 3D Builder app that lets anyone create and print models with compatible hardware.

Source: Office (YouTube)

85 Comments
  • Always good to see great things happen :)
  • Pretty schweet. Makes me almost want to cut off my own arm to get an Iron Man arm... well, as long as it came with a photon shooter built in to the palm.
  • That's really mad
  • Mastrubation3000 Buy it at WalMart from 2016. Comes in 3 colors.
  • Damn the nerd in me, but I have to: Iron Man's repulsors shoot concentrated concussive blasts. Which is also what makes the SHIELD helicarriers using modified repulsors in Winter Soldier somewhat baffling!
  • Looking at the pic I thought it was Morton Downey Jr. lol. Whatever happened to that cat?...
  • "Hey listen pal, NO one is gonna tell me I can't smoke!" Died of lung cancer.
  • Yeah, he sure lit up like his life depended on it. Oh, the irony!
  • He died in 2001
  • People on YouTube will get mad because Microsoft is in this video.. Just look at the comments section at http://youtu.be/AcLh-aSUdx0
  • People have been becoming more hostile to anything sponsored on YouTube lately. It's ridiculous.
  • Most real people visit YouTube to just check out a video or two, then without scrolling down they leave to go back to their Facebook feed.
  • Its kind of funny how mad people get in the comment section about it being an advertisment; and while it is an advert for OneNote...OneNote is one of the most powerful free applications available. "Oh noes youtubers...Free OneNote is being advertised on a service (YouTube) owned by a company (Google) that openly admits to spying on your Inbox to know what to MARKET to you..."
  • Robert is a good man! Off point, just saw the Judge, really great acting in that movie.
  • My favourite actor in Hollywood, I just love his movies, awesome sense of humour
  • Who doesn't! ;)
  • When I got the notification that said RDJ and Microsoft....... I was excited, two awesome things together, just amazing.
  • Exactly ;)
  • +830
  • Great story. Love to see an unfortunate kid like that get the star treatment he deserves.
  • *Tony Stark* and Microsoft FTFY
  • I just want Jarvis instead of Cortana.
  • Maybe Jarvis can be the male speech option
  • Yeah, and the holograms with out headwear/eyewear. That would be awesome. Or perhaps Jarvis abilities with Cortana's voice? I do like the voice...
  • I always thought that if they were going to localize Cortana's voice for the UK anyway, they should just do Jarvis for it. Posted via my HTC One (M7)
  • Now if we had Paul Betany as the UK version id be very happy!
  • Benedict cumberbatch :D
  • "Benedict cumberbatch :D" - Electrodude16
  • It would be nice to have an option on first launch to choose Jarvis or Cortana.
  • A billion and a half dollars.... LMAO
  • What are you talking about?
  • Watch the video and you'll understand.
  • Cost of the iron man suit mentioned by "Robert" in the video ^_^
  • Nice story, nice kid, and a great effort on the part of some kind hearted people that care about making one day special in someones life.
  • Smiley face!
  • Good guy iron man
  • One of the few good things to come out of UCF. Really awesome that they hooked that little boy up.
  • Hey...don't forget Daniel Tosh ;)
  • Respect..... :)
  • Really nice to see something like this
  • deh feelz
  • Segata Sanshiro!!!!! Homerun!!!!
  • I would cut my limb for this.
  • Hats off to the man who make this for child.... I really want to say thankx that man who helped the child.... You are the man who makes child happy... Great work and best wishes for future man :) :)
    From :-Tushar Sahalout
  • Too much of man... ;)
  • Sathyam.... Njaanum yojikkunnu.... :P
  • Lol
  • With power comes great responsibility :)
  • Special moment of kindness, great to see!
  • Go Knights!
  • I agree! 
  • Iron-man style prosthetic arm? That kid has a good taste.
  • And luck
  • Seeing this just made my day. Gotta love it. 
  • I love you.... Both of you.... Microsoft& my hero(I mean Tony stark) good company and good man...
  • There's should exist Microsoft Lumia Iron
  • That's Tony Starks for you :)
  • This was awesome
  • Do Apple ever do things like this?
  • Their displays are made from people's retinas. Nope.
  • LOL
  • They take from people instead, which is really sad.
  • For $10,000 he can get the arm in 24k gold.
  • Best clip of the day.
  • What an excellent story about wonderful people. Own that new arm little dude.
  • Touching story there kudos all involved. Anything that changes peoples lives positively and brings a smile on their faces will always be a worthwhile story.
  • I love this video and I love you Robert Downey Jr. God bless your soul.
  • But the great man here is Albert, and Ofcourse Robert too. 
  • Like!
  • Speechless!
  • Awesome story. Great to see someones life change in a good way from the kindness of people. Props to the creativity of Albert and Robert for being involved. Touching story.
  • This is awesome. Similar to what Not Impossible Labs did a year or two back for a South Sudanese boy who lost both his arms when Sudanese bombers hit the area he was tending to his cows. 3D printing really is going to change the world. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • First time I watched that video earlier today the clip ended the "The Collective Project" at the end...now that is completely gone. Google must be doing a little editing.
  • RDJ really plays up his character.  Guy seems like a real class act.  Good on him for turning his life to awesome.
  • People like Albert Manero are the true unsung heroes. Awesome to see Robert Downey Jr getting involved with this initiative. Hopefully other high profile celebrities will follow suit.
  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did... They adopted an entire village...hehehe
  • This is definitely more advertisement of two iconic entities than helping someone, but it is sure nice that they are going out of their way to help people.
  • WOW, really love that guy
  • Kudos to this joint venture, really should be more like these in our time
  • Superb story. And I'm glad to see printing used in this manner.
  • Good bless you Robert Downey Jr and Microsoft!!!
    Great job all around!!!
  • That was cool thing to do. I would like one of them...
  • Why didn't Robert Downey Sr. try this first
  • this story hits home with me. I am an upper limb amputee, and I am currently building my own 3d printer to create new tools to assist my life. Its lovely to see the less abled being helped out by Microsoft and 3d printing capabilities.
  • Hold The Cat ? RDJ & HTC hmmm. Great project... Hope they make bigger arms for when the kids grow up