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Somerset catering manager, Trevor Prideaux, found that he was having trouble texting ever since he upgraded his handset to a smartphone. Ultimately, this didn’t stop Trevor. The resourceful Mr. Prideaux enlisted help from device manufacturer Nokia and professionals from the Exeter Mobility Centre to help design and fabricate a prototype prosthetic arm that could hold his smartphone while he typed. The result, developed in just five weeks by prosthethist Steve Gallichan, technician Les Street, and undergrad Sara Bennett looks like a natural fit. [via cnet]

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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Comments

  1. Absolutely brilliant! And with all the apps and capabilities of smartphones currently the possibilities for those with prosthetics. Now I need to get to work on a non-prosthetic adapter a la Pip-Boy!

  2. Keith Veleba says:

    Why does this seem over-engineered to me?  I’m all for adapting tools to suit needs, but this seems ridiculous.

    1. I dunno. If you think of a smartphone as a handset, than I could possibly see where you’re coming from. One of my favorite Marshal McLuhan quotes goes “Any invention or technology is an extension or self-amputation of our physical bodies, and such extension also demands new ratios or new equilibriums among the other organs and extensions of the body”. I’ll say it again… looks like a natural fit. Observe others around you and tell me that a smartphone is just another accessory. Cheers!

    2. VRAndy says:

      My first thought was that some sort of external mount would be easier to engineer, and more flexible should he ever want to upgrade to a different model phone.  You could even get an off-the-shelf one designed for joggers. Or you could build some sort of fancy magnetic mount.

      The article doesn’t mention him having tried off-the-shelf armband cases, But I have to assume he tried these easy, $20 solutions first and found them lacking. 

      Embedding it in the arm is probably pretty convenient.  Just roll up your sleeves and there’s your phone.  I wish I had a phone built-in to my arm!

  3. Anonymous says:

    My wife amputated the end of her pinky in a door.  I plan to one day make a prosthetic finger tip for her with a microSDHC memory card under the fingernail.

  4. Jason V says:

    Good concept, however the hook in the picture has its tension-operating cables removed.  Unless this is just a prototype, the hook looks like the manually-operated steel cable type that my relative wore for over 50 years.  The cable routing on his went right across what would be the middle of the screen on this one.

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