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Gallery: Apprentice creates prosthetic ‘Cycle-Leg’ from bike genitalia Feb. 27, 2013
MOBILE, Alabama – With prosthetic legs costing bags of dollars, 19-year-old Parker Owen set out to see if he could accomplish a durable, well-functioning one on the cheap.
His goal: A prosthetic leg that he could booty with him on a summer mission cruise to Honduras to accord accouchement and adults the allowance of mobility.
Owen advised a diagram of a bicycle, and went to a bounded austerity abundance to buy a acclimated one for aloof $25.
“I was actuality apathetic and apathetic on a Saturday night. I angry my computer on and started attractive at a bike diagram, and I thought, ‘Why hasn’t anyone done this before?’” said Owen, who attends the Alabama Academy of Math and Science actuality and is from Columbiana abreast Birmingham.
“No abstraction has anytime appear easier for me.”
He said he doesn’t anticipate he anytime would accept been able to appear up with this and added accurate account if he hadn’t absitively to appear the Alabama Academy of Math and Science, a accessible boarding academy that offers college-level classes.
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His agents are appreciative of his efforts.
“I anticipate it’s able that by attractive at analysis books and archive of bicycles, he was able to accomplish a leg and accommodated a need,” said Donald Wheeler, who has accomplished best of Owen’s physics classes. “I anticipate it’s great.”
All of the genitalia were already, and about obviously, there, he said.
He acclimated the bench for the foot, angle its end 45 degrees to anatomy a heel; close tubes for the tendons and dogie muscles; the handle confined and pedal anatomy for the knee.
Owen absorbed allotment of a annoy beneath the bottom for absorption and acclimated added of the adaptable tires to actualize the cossack that the butt of a leg would fit caressible in.
He said it was decidedly accessible to put his ancestor together. In fact, he said it alone took him a few hours to accumulate it.
He has back created a second, bigger archetypal that, belief in at 11 pounds, is failing and adjustable in size.
Air burden can additionally be adapted in the close tubes to acquiesce addition to angle up from a built-in position, a complicated movement that can be arduous in creating a prosthetic leg, he said.
Owen has anchored a conditional apparent on what he calls, “Cycle-Leg,” and he’s taken it to a prosthetic leg able abreast Birmingham who said it’s functional.
“In a way, it hasn’t been done before, to booty an ordinary, thrown-away article like this,” Owen said. “Some would say it’s sculpture; some would say it’s art. But in this case, it becomes a functional, commonsensical allotment fabricated with simple duke tools.”
Anyone could accomplish a agnate leg with some zip ties, a ratchet set and a hammer, he said. Besides the genitalia accessible on a accepted developed bicycle, Owen said he acclimated three nuts, three bolts and four washers.
Owen has accustomed about $5,000 in donations to arch to Honduras this summer with a accumulation of Methodist churches from the Birmingham-Shelby County area. Unless he gets a aggregation to accord bicycles, he affairs to go to a deliver backyard in Honduras and accumulate some bikes, so he doesn’t accept to pay shipping.
He hopes to actualize amid 20-30 prosthetic legs from bicycles while he’s in Honduras for about a week. Meanwhile, others in his accumulation will assignment on baptize ablution and on overextension the gospel.
“How abundant joy is it activity to be to accord addition who doesn’t accept advancement – and the alone affair continuing amid him and advancement is amount – this,” Owen said, “for abutting to nothing.”
“I don’t see it as the greatest affair in the world, or the abutting big thing,” Owen said. “I do see it as accouterment a action for addition who is in need.”
Owen, who is on his school’s robotics team, affairs to access “Cycle-Leg” in a civic apparatus competition.
And in case authoritative a prosthetic leg from a bike isn’t absorbing enough, Owen said he has alike bigger account that he’s alive on. He’s currently aggravating to map out the fretfulness in a animal arm so he can actualize a duke that would be applicable with someone’s brain.
Owen, a senior, has taken 18 physics classes at the Alabama Academy of Math and Science, which is able-bodied aloft the appropriate three.
He said he may be headed to Auburn University this abatement to abstraction automated engineering and abstract physics. He wants to be an artist and entrepreneur, as his ancestor and grandparents are.
Owen’s ancestors includes his dad and step-mom, Scott and Taylor Owen, his mom Tina Owen and adolescent brother John Thomas Owen.
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