Self-help guru Tony Robbins has a new prime-time reality TV series that offers people with big problems a new start, and 3-D design software provider Autodesk is getting in on the action. The NBC series, “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins,” featured a story about engineer Frank Alioto in the premiere episode this week. Alioto, who designed aftermarket automotive products for a living, sustained a serious spinal cord injury on the evening of his wedding in December 2007 that left him a quadriplegic.
As a result of his injury, Alioto suffered paralysis of the legs and had only limited hand movement, making it a serious challenge for him to resume work as an engineer. Alioto’s physical impairments made it challenge for him to interface with the advanced software applications that were so essential to his job.
Enter Tony Robbins and Autodesk, who worked together to find a solution. Autodesk donated the software in partnership with the NBC series in addition to providing hardware and training services from Autodesk Consulting to help Alioto “redesign his life.” Using a special adaptive touch pad and stylus, Alioto has been able to effectively work with the Autodesk suite, and the training has allowed him to get back to being an engineer. Now, Alioto has set his sights on returning to the automotive products field, either by telecommuting for an established company or possibly forming his own venture.