Albert Manero had an inspiration: Use the aerospace research lab at UCF to design low- cost artificial limbs for children in need around the world.
The idea has launched Manero to national fame through his company Limbitless Solutions, which is using cutting- edge technology to help children and their families around the world who cannot afford the high cost of traditional artificial limbs.
Manero will bring his heartwarming story of innovation and entrepreneurship to Eastern Florida State College on Nov. 27 as part of the Simpkins Entrepreneurial Lecture Series.
The series is co-sponsored by the college and Florida Today with lectures free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.
Manero will speak at 9:30 a.m. in the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne Campus. His presentation will also be livestreamed at the Simpkins Fine Arts Center on the Cocoa Campus.
Manero, a Fulbright Scholar currently working on his doctorate in mechanical engineering at UCF, is utilizing 3-D printing for manufacturing in a dramatic way.
It can reduce the cost of artificial limbs from $40,000 to $350 per limb.
In one special case, the actor 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.
Central to the Limbitless business model — the company gives away limbs to children and families worldwide, including 75 arms to Syrian children injured in that nation’s civil war — is Manero’s determination to employ science and technology to aid and inspire people across the globe.
That makes Limbitless a bold reminder of what technology can achieve through vision and a charitable spirit.
The lecture series is named after Bernard Simpkins, a highly successful entrepreneur and Space Coast business leader who established the sessions that have brought some of nation’s top business leaders to Brevard.
A Simpkins endowment also started the college’s Business Entrepreneurship Program to educate the next generation of business innovators.