Young inventor hoping to make the world better for people with disabilities
Published Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:04PM EST Last Updated Saturday, February 22, 2020 7:13PM EST
MONTREAL -- A young inventor from Montreal is doing charity work in a whole new way and hopes to change the lives of those living with disabilities.
Jonah Hoppenheim's role models include Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, and like his heroes, he hopes to change the world through innovation.
"He wants to make the world a better place through electric cars and renewable energy," said Hoppenheim of Musk. "I want to make it through helping disability and accessibility."
He wants to create affordable devices for those with disabilities.
"It's nice to help people," said Hoppenheim. "Not enough people do it and the world could be a better place."
His mom said Jonah has always had a big heart doing charity walks and fundraisers as a child.
"He's actually taking it beyond what myself and my husband have taught him," said Sharyn Hoppenheim. "He's taken it one step further."
Jonah's first invention came to him during a college class when his hand began to shake after a long day of note-taking.
"I actually started drawing on my hand, drawing what originally started as just an idea and 24 hours later, I 3D printed an idea of what it could be," he said.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society tested the grip-aid he developed, and it was proven effective.
Next, he invented a water bottle he calls a liquid assistance device (LAD) originally designed for his grandmother who has MS.
"If people are already going through a hard time, there's no use in making things harder if a little thing you might screw on to the top of your water bottle can help," he said.
He also designed a robotic arm that can High-Five or give a thumbs up or fist pump.
"There's a stigma attached to those with disabilities," said Jonah. "People are uncomfortable interacting with them, and so having a cool interaction with them - giving someone a high five or a thumbs up - it can make all the difference."
He hopes to sell the arm for around $300, a quarter of what similar devices typically go for.
His reason is simple.
"Each device is kind of helping to get to the realization that everyone is just like everyone else, some people just have it a little more difficult and some people need a little more help," said Jonah.
The young inventor is looking for others to get involved with his plans to make affordable disability devices.
What kind of collaborator is he looking for ?
"Anyone from a lawyer to a graphic designer to anyone with a heart that wants to help make this become a reality."
Anyone interested can reach Jonah at firstname.lastname@example.org.