Robert Downey Jr. Gifts 7-Year-Old with an ‘Iron Man’ Bionic Arm

Kathryn Whitworth| April 13, 2015


Aside from playing the superhero Iron Man on the big screen, Robert Downey Jr. also does good deeds in real life. The actor, along with Albert Manero, a University of Central Florida student, founder of the volunteer group Limbitless Solutions, presented a heartwarming gift to seven-year-old Alex Pring, who was born with a partially developed arm.

Like all other boys his age, Alex has two favorite things: superheroes and riding his bike. However, his birth defect makes it hard for him to ride a bike.

Albert, a #CollectiveProject student who helps build and donate low-cost, 3D-printed bionic limbs to children all over the world, believed that Alex was the perfect candidate for the program. He decided to surprise him with a new bionic 3D-printed arm at no cost. But, he didn’t perform the task himself. He called out to a very special friend to help him—Iron Man himself.

During the meeting, Alex was led into a hotel room where Robert was in character as Tony Stark, Iron Man’s alter ego. The boy’s initial reaction was shock.  Alex couldn’t even contain his happiness as the actor introduced himself as a bionic expert.

The actor then presented the new bionic arm to Alex. According to Microsoft’s The Collaborative Project, the arm costs only $350. In contrast to the false limbs today that cost as much as $40,000, theirs is very much cheaper.

Even if Alex already recognized him, Robert continued to act in character and said, “Albert has made it so affordable that I’m going to start farming out a lot of my tech work to Albert too. I feel he could cut the price points down on one of my suits by, I guess, about $1.5 billion.

The Iron Man lead star shared the video on his Facebook page with the caption, “Had the absolute privilege of presenting a brand-spanking-new 3D-printed bionic Iron Man arm to Alex, the most dapper 7-year-old I’ve ever met.

Watch the heartwarming video of Alex’s encounter with Tony Stark below:




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