Young engineer makes prostheses and gives them to people with disabilities

The young Bolivian Roly Mamani is an engineer who makes toys, but because of his experience he decided to make prosthetics for people with disabilities.

Surrounded by prosthetics, plants and 3D dinosaurs, Roly Mamani inspects the arm he designed for a young amputee due to electrocution. For several years now, the engineer has dedicated his creativity as a toy maker to restoring the lives of the mutilated poor in Bolivia.

Mamani, the son of farmers, grew up in difficult conditions in Achocalla, a community 15 km north of La Paz bathed by two lagoons and dedicated to grazing or growing vegetables and tubers.

Since he had no toys, he began building his own cars out of cardboard and plastic at the age of six. At school he built his first remote-controlled model.

Before going to public university, he worked in an auto repair shop for two years. They were “the first real machines I saw,” remembers the 34-year-old electronics engineer.

An eloquent, shy representative of emo culture who rarely smiles, Mamani opened his laboratory in Achocalla a decade ago with the original idea of ​​making robots for recreational or educational purposes.

“You could say I have all the toys I want now,” he emphasizes.

The young engineer decided to build prosthetics for poor people with disabilities.

The young engineer decided to build prosthetics for poor people with disabilities. Photo: AFP

However, the story of a farmer with no hands got him thinking. “I can make them for you,” he said to himself when he learned about this case and those of other people without limbs or the means for prosthetics.

In 2018, toy manufacturer Achocalla began producing solutions in its 3D printers. “Science is like a superpower. “Robotics is a trend, but if it doesn't help with important things, it won't be of any use,” he told AFP.

– A valuable donation –
With the background noise of the printers, Mamani points out that he can produce six pieces a month. During that time, “we have implemented more than 400 prosthetics,” he claims.

She gave away half of them free of charge or at cost price. On average, each 3D prosthesis has a commercial value of $1,500 in a country where the base salary is $323.

Read Also:  The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in Moscow that left at least 40 people dead

The beneficiaries were initially selected using television commercials.

After becoming known primarily on social networks, he himself selects the recipients of his donation from the many requests he receives from other countries.

Mamani visits her home to check her condition.

“People in dire need are exposed to precarious jobs with no security and that’s why these accidents happen where they lose a limb,” he says.

His brother Juan Carlos is a physiotherapist and manages the patients' physiotherapy process.

In Bolivia, the public health system does not cover the costs of prostheses. According to the state-affiliated National Committee for People with Disabilities, there are approximately 36,100 people with physical and motor disabilities.

A functional prosthesis that allows certain movements can cost up to $30,000 in the private system.

– reshape life –
One of the beneficiaries of the Achocalla toy maker is Pablo Matha, 59, who lost his eyesight and his right hand seven years ago while handling dynamite in a mine.

He managed to play the guitar with the hair clip his wife used. “I went out on the street every day to ask for coins. “My friend Roly and his brother found me there,” he told AFP.

With the prosthesis donated to him, he lost the shame of his “cut hand”.

Before, I felt like people were looking at me and laughing. But now that I have the prosthesis (…), I feel like any other normal person for a while,” he notes.

For Marco Antonio Nina, 26, one of Roly's prostheses has also rebuilt his life. When he was a teenager, while working on a masonry job, his left arm was electrocuted and his right hand atrophied.

“I like singing, but without a prosthesis it was painful to hold the microphone because I had to support myself on my shoulders. Now it's a blessing,” he says.

Given the recognition he has received – the United States recognized him as one of Latin America's leaders and awarded him a scholarship in robotics – Roly Mamani is now thinking about starting a rehabilitation center.

“I will not ignore my goal of improving people's quality of life. “I want to generate my own technology, I have to improve,” he encourages.

You might be interested in:

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here