Casey Pieretti, one-legged stuntman, actor, and designer of devices to aid amputees, is now showcasing his prosthetic inventions on Discovery Channel’s new show “Bionic Builders,” alongside his partner, Bill Sprachter. On the heels of the show’s pilot premiere, the longtime Santa Barbara local described the duo’s life-altering inventions, and shared his enthusiasm for creating non-medical devices used to propel clients into a cyborgesque state.
From a propeller leg good enough for Navy diver to use, to a punching arm that packs enough force to make you feel like you’ve been shot with a gun, the host and creative producer of the show is not afraid to be the perfect guinea pig and test out these elaborate contraptions. The robotic-style prosthetics are brought to life in Pieretti’s shop, Amp’d Gear, located in Carpinteria; and the Discovery Channel films away as the prosthetics are tested out. “[Bill] is the mad scientist inventor and I am the person that stands in the way of all danger,” says Pieretti.
These entrepreneurs are focused on making devices that are meant to make amputees equal to those with two legs, if not better. “The tagline of the show is ‘Better than new. Better than you,” he said. With a marketing scheme that reaches out to amputee athletes, he is determined to create one-of-a kind limbs specific to each individual.
During one segment of the show’s pilot, Pieretti displays his stuntman ability and mentality when he volunteers himself as the test dummy for the pneumatic punching arm he created for a Muay Thai boxing friend named Baxter. Upon impact, the force exuded by the arm causes Pieretti to launch off the ground, landing on a padded mat about a foot away.
Pieretti is on a mission to change the negative perception amputees may have of their disability by transforming it into a superhuman feature. “I’ve always looked at something and asked where can this go and what’s the farthest I can take this,” said Pieretti, “and this is how the show grew out of Amp’d Gear.”
With 185,000 individuals losing a limb each year, there has been a growing demand for the type of products that the company provides. The hopeful Pieretti looks to expand the company so that he can provide these devices to any individual looking for their very own bionic limb.