Like a gleaming flower that rises in muddy waters, the world is not void of innovators and their ambitious innovations that came out of nowhere. From a couple of engineers sitting in a garage at Silicon valley, building the next computer in the 90’s to the guy coding in his basement, for what would become the most widely used mp3 application, endless ideas took fruition as technology took better turns at the end of the decade.
This technological improvement helped scale the gap that was present between medical diagnosis and treatment as well, where the real puzzle was to figure out the real cause of the existing condition which was a mere guess game in older days.
Prosthetics for amputees saw growth in leaps and bounds as the technology kept getting more micro in terms of functionality. It became more realistic for researchers and manufacturers to look beyond the usual necessities of the amputees and dedicate their time in creating something that could be far more advanced. While this far fetched dream was achieved in the years to come, it came with a big price tag on it. At a quick glance, the demographic speaks that in most countries amputees belong to different financial classes of the society. Although the use of such exorbitant technology was a topic of big talk, it was realistically not a an easy walk for most financially unstable amputees.
But there was a change in this wave of technological renaissance. The answer to it simply was going Old School.
Arun Cherian lived quite a humble life working on projects, most techno savvy experts from India day dream about. Designing protective suits and defense oriented tools for the military, was one of his assigned tasks in the US. Being a robotic engineer from a renowned university in the states, Cherian was well versed in designing robotic locomotive motions that well imitate the human anatomy. His urge to create a affordable Prosthetic system for his countrymen began his pursuit.
While being in India for some time Cherian, dug deeper inside his mind to find an affordable alternative to what most Prosthetic companies were offering at that time. This puzzle was solved by an hour long gaze at some Cane furniture that was lying around his parent’s house. Cane being a very sturdy material, prominently used in furniture's such as sofa which withstands several kilograms of aperson’s weight, made to his list of core materials in making Prosthetics.
He got in touch with a Cane dealer who replied in affirmative to his idea of bending and morphing Cane into different shapes at different angles where they can easily bare the weight of a disabled person. Going back to US was far from his mind now, as the hunger to innovate kept growing. He ventured deeper into this new found concept while intending to provide Prosthetic systems that are at par with more expensive one’s.
From a technical perspective, Cane was an ideal material for making Prosthetics mainly due to its structural characteristics. Elasticity and toughness are two of its main physical aspects that enable heavy duty use and flexibility without inducing any form of stiffness in dynamic movement patterns.
To trademark this self revolution in the world of Indian Prosthetic systems, Cherian went on to start a initiative called as Rise Legs urging more and more amputees all over India, irrespective of their financial background to come to terms and try out the new Cane Prosthetic system.
When asked about his inspiration in creating such a design for the Prosthetic system, he cites that it was the actual human foot design that transpired into his innovation. Retracing the outlines of nature’s own creation into equations and mechanical designs, led him to what he proudly endorses as one of his own.
Since its first test phase at the Department Of Aerospace in Bangalore, Arun has come a long way propagating his thought of efficient and sturdy Prosthetic system at a very affordable price for amputees from various strata of the society. 23 year old Madhav who struggled in adapting to various Prosthetic systems after losing his leg in a tragic accident, took no more than a couple of days to quickly adapt to the new Cane Prosthetic. Previously the inability to walk properly made him use crutches for days, but now he was back playing Football on the field every evening and making the most of his lost time.
The bright side of using Arun Cherian’s Cane manufactured prosthesis is its appearance. It looks very lifelike and all the external design is graphically matched to the person’s skin texture and complexion. To add to that its comes in different types of designs and patterns that emit a more modern look making them a part of person’s style statement. This move made by Cherian in maximizing the look of the Prosthetics, has overridden them from just being a mere support system and enhance the overall appearance of the user.
A entry level Prosthetic foot made by Arun Cheniar’s initiative costs about 10,000 rupees. This scaled down version which is completely functional, minus all the customization can prove to be very helpful to various people in the less developed parts of the country especially where less favorable climatic conditions could prove to be fork in the road for electronic circuitry. Deforestation being another major problem in the country, Cheniar has been striving to secure permissions to grow Cane for productive purposes. This in turn will keep fueling his ambition for creating something for the welfare of the disabled.
A increase in price of any commodity also means a surplus in its features and functionality. This is a common factor that triumphs price over effectiveness in many of the purchases today. But looking at the recent revolution that has come about in medical science, there is no right or wrong way as far as support systems for the disabled are concerned. If a wooden stick could aid them in walking, its native Cane could also be the next contender in line for the amputees.
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