The fact that science and technology can play an important role in enabling and sustaining an inclusive society was reinforced recently when a Nokia C7 mobile phone was successfully fit into the prosthetic arm of an Englishman named Trevor Prideaux.
Sadly, Trevor was born without a left arm. But that handicap has not prevented him from becoming a professional caterer. For years, he has been getting his prosthetic limbs made and fitted at Exeter Mobility Centre in Devon. Some time ago, he had the idea of trying to get his mobile phone fitted into a recess in his artificial limb.
Nokia agreed to work with the team at Exeter Mobility Centre on this project and provide a blank casing as a mould. Prosthetist Steve Gallichan, undergraduate worker Sarah Bennett, and technician Les Street worked as a team to create a prototype of the arm.
A fibreglass cradle in the shape of the C7 was carved out. Into this cavity the phone was fixed. The phone sits snugly inside this cradle and it can be easily removed whenever necessary.
Understandably, Prideaux is proud to be perhaps the first such person in the world. He is also elated at being able to take calls or send text messages quite easily and comfortably using just his one hand.
He finds that the phone sits quite compactly in his prosthetic left arm. Already, Prideaux is thinking about how this concept can be applied to benefit other people as well. People who’ve lost an arm in an accident or in a war will especially benefit, he reckons.