When he was just nine years old, David Aguilar, who was born with Poland syndrome, designed the first prosthesis for his right arm with pieces from a construction set. Now, he’s on his fifth model, which he even presented to NASA at the Cross Industry Innovation Summit when he was 19. Aguilar, who calls himself Hand Solo, holds a Guiness Record for the “First functional LEGO® prosthetic arm”, and is studying bioengineering in order to continuing improving the lives of other people.
As Spain’s leading industrial investor in R&D, SEAT S.A. also looks towards innovation to create mobility solutions for today and the future. “For me, visiting this company is an opportunity to talk from one innovator to another” says David.
From idea to reality. David enters the SEAT S.A. Technical Centre, which has the most advanced technology for Research and Development (R&D) activities. Oriol Mas, head of Driving Assistance Systems, and Teresa Forradellas, from the Chassis Electronics Development team, welcome him and ask several questions about his prosthesis. “I designed this one digitally. Then I built it little by little with parts I had at home. Using a small pressure sensor, I can make my arm move and my hand open and close at the same time” he says.
“Our new projects also start with a 3D design” Teresa explains while showing him the design and, then the actual part where they insert a model’s front radar. “Just like in your prosthesis, we’ve also used a sensor to help us, in this case, in the Travel Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) functions, to increase the safety of our cars by detecting obstacles, other vehicles and even pedestrians” she adds.
Always go the extra mile. Awarded a silver medal by the Universal League of Public Good, David aims to inspire others to change the status quo. “The important thing is to fight for your idea, against all all odds” he says. “It’s as if someone were to tell you that the car of the future can’t fly” he says. Oriol Mas laughs: “What’s certain is that for those of us who today develop driving assistance systems, innovation means thinking about moving towards the autonomous car” he replies, showing Aguilar a small robot reproduction of the cameras and ultrasound sensors used on a vehicle to detect everything that happens around it.
Two innovators, one passion and one goal. “What we have in common is that we aren’t satisfied with today’s reality and are constantly looking for new solutions” says Oriol Mas. “Your passion was construction sets, and you used it to create your prostheses. Ours is designing mobility, and for this, we apply innovation across the board” he adds.
“You’ve made five different prostheses, and continuously improve their functions. We do the same, working intensely on each project to continue moving forward” Teresa comments. David agrees and adds, “SEAT S.A. and I share the same principle of innovation. I make prostheses to improve people’s quality of life, and here they do exactly the same with their vehicles” he concludes.
Driving co-creation. With David Aguilar’s visit to the company's facilities, where he gave a masterclass for the employees, SEAT S.A. is promoting the launch of INNOVA, a new digital platform created to connect people, ideas and projects. It’s a space that promotes new ways of working based on co-creation, following a start-up model. With this new hub of experiences and knowledge, the company hopes to generate new business opportunities and synergies.
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