All design evolves over time, but one of the most interesting design histories is that of prosthetic limbs. They used to be modeled to look like the body parts they were replacing with little care as to whether they were functional or not. Now, however, function has become more important than form as prosthetics aim to work like functioning limbs and look less like hands and feet.
But one scientist didn’t stop there.
James Young lost his arm and leg in a train accident four years ago. Last week, he debuted his new prosthetic arm, and it’s a replica of Venom Snake’s from Metal Gear Solid. Not only that, but the arm has wi-fi capability and a USB port.
Sophie de Oliveira Barata, Konami, Global Racing Technologies, and Open Bionics worked together to make the arm through the Phantom Limb Project. The arm was expensive, however, and not everyone has that kind of access to custom-made prosthetics.
But the world of prosthetics is changing quickly. 3D printing has given hope to people who have lost limbs and can’t afford new ones. Pretty soon, it won’t be so difficult to make a prosthetic arm with wi-fi capability and give it to someone who may not otherwise have either an arm or internet access.
Image by Max Plenke/Mic.