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For the Siftings Posted Jun. 28, 2014 @ 11:00 am
College of the Ouachitas announced that the College and Robohand have formed a strategic alliance. The announcement took place during three press conferences held on campus Wednesday.
The first venture of the Robohand and College alliance was the grand opening of the Robohand Print Farm at College of the Ouachitas, the biggest print farm in the world. The print farm, under the direction of Jody Callahan, College of the Ouachitas Division Chair for Applied Sciences, will prepare and distribute 3D printed Robohand components worldwide. The print farm will have “open time” where the public can pay to have 3D prints grown, which will ensure the sustainability of the Robohand Print Farm at College of the Ouachitas to provide 3D printed Robohand components worldwide.
The relationship between College of the Ouachitas and Robohand spawned earlier this year when Callahan contacted Robohand, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, in an effort to be good stewards of the 3D printer lab that the College recently implemented. The lab consists of 50 3D printers and six digitizers and is the largest of its kind to date.
COTO President Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker, along with Callahan, travelled recently to the Robohand headquarters located in Johannesburg. While there, the two cultivated a strategic alliance with Richard Van As, creator of Robohand.
Dr. Schoonmaker fervently pronounced, “Robohand is the most practical, life-altering application of 3D printing technology that I have seen thus far.”
Chicago resident Ryan, an 8-year-old born without his right arm, was excited to receive his Roboarm yesterday. Ryan, along with his family, made the 11-hour journey from Chicago, Illinois, to College of the Ouachitas to be fitted for his arm. Van As and Callahan offered assurance to Ryan as they placed the Roboarm on the young boy. For the first time, Ryan was able to experience the realization of having two arms.
Van As and Callahan are co-authoring a 3Dprinting curriculum that will be launched at the College in the near future. The curriculum will be offered as an introduction to 3D printing and will culminate with each student in the class producing a Robohand as their capstone project.