VIDEO: Bodyhack | Metal Gear Man - PART 1 * 2024
VIDEO: Bodyhack | Metal Gear Man - PART 1 * 2024

In 2012, James Young was involved in a train accident in which he lost his left arm and leg. An avid video game player, Young taught himself how to use a controller one-handed and occasionally with his teeth. At the 2016 BodyHacking Con in Austin, Young, unveiled a $76,000 carbon fiber arm inspired by the Metal Gear Solid video game.

The high-tech limb he designed not only gives Young the dexterity to do most of the things he could do before his accident, but also charges his phone, displays his social media, and has a drone mount on it thumbnail controlled from a panel on his forearm. Young, who designed the limb with prosthetic sculptor Sophie de Oliveira Barata, founder of The Alternative Limb Project.


James Young wanted a prosthetic designed after Metal Gear Solid’s main character

Open Bionics began working with the Alternative Limb Project — an organization that makes custom prosthetics designed to stand out as unique pieces of art. Young’s prosthetic is inspired by the bionic limb in “Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain” that Snake uses after waking up from a nine-year coma.

Samantha Payne, Open Bionics’ co-founder, said: “The hand is a myoelectric prosthesis. This means EMG sensors read muscle activity beneath James’ skin. This activity, which James’ controls via muscle tension, signals to the hand which grip pattern to use. Essentially, James can tell the hand what to do by squeezing his shoulder muscles. Depending on how James is squeezing his shoulder muscles, he call tell the hand to perform five different programmed actions including opening and closing the fingers, pointing, and using a tripod grip. It is so exciting to see prosthetics like this come to life.”

Jonathan Raines, Open Bionics’ lead mechanical engineer, said: “This project was interesting because it was the first time we worked to create a specific look for a hand. Working with James was also a highlight. He takes all the weirdness of having electrodes stuck to him and plaster cast over his shoulders in his stride. We have to give a shout out to Fenner Drives for supplying us with NinjaFlex in a colour that wasn’t even available in the UK too, thanks team.”

Open Bionics is based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory; the biggest robotics lab in the UK. The startup has been experimenting over the past year with the idea of what bionic limbs could look like and what functions they should perform.

Last year the team produced this Swarovski covered bionic arm that lit up at night with fibre optics, before producing superhero prosthetics for kids that have superhuman functionality. The hero arms and hands light up, make sounds, and can ‘fire’ repulsor blasters and lightsabres. Open Bionics are developing bionic arms that combine art, engineering, and science fiction to offer amputees more choice.


Open Bionics was approached by producer Sophie de Oliveira Barata of the Alternative Limb Project

Young was able to get a super high-tech, bionic arm inspired by his favorite video game character: Snake from “Metal Gear Solid.”

He said: “I want [the arm] to visually raise questions on integrated tech with the body, like society’s perception of the whole thing and people designing their own body parts”

Commissioned by Metal Gear Solid, is a collaboration of artists, makers, engineers, and roboticists that set out to fuse medical technology with the world of video games.

As robotics consultants to make the prosthetic hand, inspired by Metal Gear Solid, truly bionic. The hand, printed in a flexible material, took just over 24 hours to print on a desktop Ultimaker 3D printer, and was programmed to perform six different actions. This bionic limb of the future has been given to James Young, an avid amputee gamer who helped design the arm. You can see a video of James being interviewed about his new prosthesis. The Phantom Limb bionic hand is a functional prosthesis that has been designed to match James’ existing hand and programmed to perform diverse grip patterns.

Open Bionics were a great fit for the project, as they combined bionic technology with 3D printing – an increasingly accessible and adaptable technology, which enabled us the flexibility and scope to design a prosthetic arm that was uniquely functional for James, with a visual affinity to the Metal Gear Solid world. The Open Bionics team were keen to explore new ways of adapting their bionic hand technology to James and the project’s needs, resulting in a truly bespoke design.

We hope that James’ amazing bionic arm will help change perceptions of disability, as well as inspire people as to what can be done with technology and prosthetics, and we can’t wait to see what Open Bionics work on next.”

James Young, the coolest bionic arm * Todo lo relacionado