Boy inventor's prosthetic arm design brought to life by Belfast company

A nine-year-old Ballymena boy, who designed a specially-made prosthetic arm based on one of his favourite superheroes, has had his creation brought to life.

Noah Steele was born with part of his right arm missing, and has always used a standard prosthetic limb.

However, budding inventor Noah doesn't settle for the norm.

“Many children around the world have a missing limb," Noah told UTV, "and I thought, ‘why not make something fun that they can use?'” The Harryville Primary School pupil entered Mid and East Antrim Council's 'Activate Your Curiosity' competition, coming out on top ahead of other competitors.

Noah explained how he wanted interchangeable adaptations so he created a design for an arm that allowed attachments to be swapped in an out.

They included a 'Hulk' fist and compartments he can use to store Lego pieces.

When designing the arm, Noah did not expect that his idea would catch the eye of a manufacturing company based in Belfast.

After catching wind of the pupil's design, PAC Group in Duncrue made Noah's dream design a reality.

Darren Leslie, business development manager at PAC said they were delighted to be part of the project.

"We took Noah’s paper design and then put it into the 3D model and added bits and pieces to it", Leslie said.

“Then we shared it with him and his parents to work together to get the right design." 

“When we got him up to here and presented him with it, he was really over the moon. His face just lit up.”

Living with part of his arm missing has forced Noah to adapt but despite many challenges, it certainly hasn't held him back.

He has even taken part in challenges with friends, such as opening a packet a crisps and opening the buttons on their polo shirts.

He won, of course.

Noah's mum Julie is not at all surprised by his engineering successes.

"He’s always been really good at problem solving himself, and he’s been able to just find ways to do things for himself.”

Noah has also thoroughly impressed his school principal Lesley Meikle, who says he's "an amazing wee boy, and we are so so proud of him".“I just don’t begin to understand the technology at all. He can explain it.

“He did an assembly for 250 youngsters and just blew them out of the water."

Noah's amazing creation will now go on display for thousands to see.Later this year, it will be showcased at a science event hosted by the astronomer and scientist Professor Brian Cox.It will also have pride of place in his home town in the Braid Museum in Ballymena, in the Gallery of First Attempts.

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