Sammy Nickalls
March 12, 2015 2:23 pm

We thought we couldn’t love Robert Downey Jr. more than we already do, but he’s proved us wrong in the absolute best way possible.

Seven-year-old Alex, or “the most dapper seven-year-old [RDJ has] ever met,” (as RDJ wrote on Facebook) is totally passionate about superheroes and riding bikes. He was also born with a partially-developed arm. Enter Albert Manero, a Fulbright scholar, doctoral student in mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida, and all-around AMAZING PERSON who builds and donates 3D-printed, low-cost bionic limbs to children around the globe through his volunteer organization Limbitless Solutions. Albert was aware of Alex’s story and wanted to help him out.

Albert spent a few weeks using the hashtag #CollectiveProject to ask for support in helping Alex, and in doing so he managed to attract the attention of one of the world’s leading bionics experts who was ready to pitch in — some might know him as Iron Man.

Albert got the Iron Man-style bionic arm ready for Alex, and also got RDJ in on the fun. They surprised Alex by bringing him to a hotel, where RDJ was waiting, dressed like Tony Stark. “Hey Alex, how are ya?” RDJ asks in the video, shaking Alex’s hand. “Pleasure to meet you.” After complimenting Alex’s bowtie and asking about his travels, RDJ present Alex with an Ironman arm, saying, “Actually, I think yours might be better than mine.”

A particular favorite moment is when the other grown ups in the room ask the very polite Alex if he knows who the guy he’s talking to is, “Iron Man” he replies.

Then RDJ and Alex both try on their arms and bond over them. Alex is beaming from ear to ear.

According to Microsoft’s The Collective Project, this particular arm cost approximately $350 in materials to make. The normal cost? A whopping $40,000. Bottom line, Albert is doing amazing work to make bionic limbs more affordable for people who need them.

I’m not crying, it’s just been raining on my face.

Want more? Check out this great vid to see the amazingness in action.

And make sure to check out The Collective Project and Limbitless Solutions to find out how to help wonderful kids like Alex.

RDJ, we love you so much too.

Advertisement