Thursday, December 18, 2014

Consciousness & Technology

Derby the dog: Running on 3D Printed Prosthetics

The story of Derby the dog is uplifting all who see it, and positive comments abound beneath the YouTube video that shares the pup's tale.

Watch the video to see how unique, custom 3D printed
 prosthetics allow Derby the dog to run for the first time!

While watching this touching video about a handicap foster dog named Derby and the quest to give him better mobility, I was immediately taken back to the saddest day in my early childhood, when I would have given anything for technology like this.  That was the day when my dog, Wendy (aka my Best Friend), succumbed to the duel hip dysplasia that strikes many German Shepherds, and was simply unable to stand up. 

My brothers and I wept as our Dad told us that we had to "put her down" rather than let her suffer, and my world collapsed. I begged him not to take her away.  "I'll build a cart," I pleaded, seeing in her eyes that she was still very present and happy to be with me; that cart would have looked like a makeshift version of the one Derby used before he got his 3D legs.  With my panic growing, bionic solutions flew through my young mind, inspired by the #1 TV drama of the time The Six Million Dollar Man...and quickly fell away as I realized we had no money to spend on extras for our big family, let alone animals.   Being from sturdy farm stock, my Dad was raised to never let animals suffer, and so he asked if I wanted to go along to the vet.  I simply couldn't, at age 8, accompany my best friend to her end and spent the rest of my day under the covers.  Today, I'd choose differently, of course. 

To me, this video is a hopeful sign that we've come a long way...bionics aren't sci-fi anymore, they're more affordable than ever, and they're also not just for people. What's most exciting, is that we are merging industry and inspiration with our creative applications for technology. Showing this uplifting, real world, money-saving use of the 3D technology with Derby will surely benefit this company in the long run, and that's okay with me...I call it conscious capitalism.

Watch the video to see how unique, custom 3D printed prosthetics allow Derby the dog to run for the first time.  I couldn't agree more with one viewer's pithy comment under the video, which simply says "Human beings can be awesome."  Yes, we can.

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