When James Young was involved in a horrific accident four years ago when he fell underneath a train, the young man suffered extensive damage to his left arm while completely losing his left leg. He also experienced a collapsed lung, numerous fractures all over his body including his skull, and damage to his spine. It was a miracle he survived.
Today, Young’s experience just got a little bit better – one could argue even a lot cooler – as he becomes “part cyborg“. When he was first released from the hospital, he was given the standard prosthetic which Young detailed as “ugly, peach-coloured, and obvious.” Just like any other universal prosthetic, it did nothing to increase mobility and was very limited in what the arm could achieve.
That all changed when we was given the opportunity to engage with an experiment involving a prototype bionic arm with the use of innovative technology and animatronics. When Komani created an advertisement seeking an amputee that would be interested in being a part of this prototype, Young took the chance for what it was: an exciting prospect at a better life.
Konami, being a well-known video game company, immediately fit well with James Young’s expectations as an avid gamer and became a perfect fit for this leap in technology. The bionic arm was appropriated to Young at the London Studio of Prosthetics with the help of artist Sophie De Oliveira Barata.
Barata herself has worked in the special effects arena of films in the past so this was a match made in Geeky Heaven.
Using sensors, the muscles are able to communicate with the juice of a battery to emulate natural movement. Barata teamed up with Open Bionics to create a sleek and aesthetically pleasing limb for Young using a 3-D printer. He was also given a hand attachment versus the standard hook or gripper associated with the average prosthetic.
Suddenly, 24 year old James Young could do what he couldn’t do before the improvement: he could move at will, pick up even the smallest of objects, and move without constraint. This innovative leap not only gave him his arm back, it gave him back his independence.
“It gives me a hand – and not just a device. It’s soft but firm, so it’s really nice to shake!”
That’s not all it does, this bad boy is equipped with so much more:
- Laser lights (cosmetic)
- a ‘torch’ for night visibility
- a watch
- a USB port
- even a drone! I mean, come on!
The technology involved as well as the fine-tuned craftsmanship makes this piece a perfect blend of technological advancement without going overboard.
“I didn’t want to look like The Terminator because my job involves talking to doctors about the drugs they use. I didn’t want to look as if I was going to kill someone.”
This is amazing and we here at DHTG are so happy that the story turned out better than expected for James Young. As he continues to push forward utilising technology to its fullest, we look forward to seeing what else the future has in store for Young and many others like him.
What are your thoughts, geeks? This is some insane technology we are talking about here. Could you imagine if this became the new “standard issue” prosthetic? The boundaries are limitless!