BBC Documentary Reveals Metal Gear-Inspired Prosthetic Arm

BBC Documentary Reveals Metal Gear-Inspired Prosthetic Arm

Last November, Konami announced that it was developing a prosthetic arm – inspired by Venom Snake’s Bionic Arm, as featured in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – for a 25-year-old English amputee.

James Young, a 25-year-old gamer who lost an arm and a leg after being hit by a train, was chosen by Konami as the most suitable candidate for its prosthetic limb program. After months of development, the arm was completed, and the whole process can now be experienced through Metal Gear Man, a new two-part BBC Three documentary, which is available on YouTube (note: the documentary does contain spoilers for Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain).


“This arm is about £70,000-worth of design and technology,” prosthetic designer Sophie de Oliveira said. “Rather than just hang off his body like an accessory, it needs to be connected to him, so fundamentally through his nerves. We’ll have sensors on the back through a harness which will send electrical impulses all the way down the arm to the hand.”

Young, while remaining optimistic, struggles to adapt to his new arm at first, bemoaning the lack of control he has over it, as well as the awkward manner in which it attaches to his body.

“The arm, it’s not ready. It’s been forced into the public eye,” Young laments. “It needs to take its first steps, but it can’t walk. It can’t even crawl.”

“I was hoping this arm was going to move me on with accepting my disability and the whole thing about designing one that represents a bit of my personality is that I have control,” he adds, “it’s something I’ve got control over. But now, when I put this on, I don’t have control. I literally don’t have control of it. And so it’s been a bit of a step back, and it’s made me just go, ‘Oh, I’m still powerless to sort myself out basically.'”

Is de Oliveira able to adapt the arm to Young’s needs? Does Young come to terms with his new prosthetic? You’ll have to watch the documentary to find out.


More information on Young and his prosthetic arm can be found at The Phantom Limb Project.

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