Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


£10,000 Man
August 23, 2011 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Matthew James, born without a left hand, contacted Ross Brawn at Mercedes GP to sponsor a prosthetic hand (with the Mercedes logo). Brawn was contacted because he is a former student of Matthew's school, Reading. The result, Mercedes GP has worked with Touch Bionics and Matthew has a new prosthetic hand.
posted by juiceCake (42 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
What happens when these prosthesis become more appealing than real limbs? It's coming.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:34 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's pretty cool. Still not quite up to Steve Austin levels of integration and realism but still pretty amazing.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:38 AM on August 23, 2011


What happens when these prosthesis become more appealing than real limbs? It's coming.

Nobody's going to go around chopping off their actual limbs just to replace them with Luke Skywalker arms. When prostheses become more appealing than real limbs, the super-rich will start looking like Doc Oc. Extra arms will be a status symbol. But if you don't have an iPhone in each superfluous artificial hand, you're a nobody.

That said, this is awesome. I don't know how much actual involvement in the project Ross Brawn had - maybe lots, maybe little. But I'm convinced that there's a switch somewhere in his brain labeled "Awesome" and it has been jammed in the "on" position and the lever broken off.
posted by The World Famous at 9:39 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


That kid seems to have a pretty bright future in a related field.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:41 AM on August 23, 2011


If that kid ever wants to start fighting crime he doesn't even have to change his name.
posted by theodolite at 9:42 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ross Brawn just gets cooler and cooler.
posted by Relay at 9:46 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Deus Ex.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:47 AM on August 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nobody's going to go around chopping off their actual limbs just to replace them with Luke Skywalker arms.

I bet there'd be a waiting list.
posted by longsleeves at 9:55 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Extra arms will be a status symbol. But if you don't have an iPhone in each superfluous artificial hand, you're a nobody.

Having a cell phone: other people can contact you at all times.

Similarly, in the future, it will be a status symbol to have only the limbs you were born with. Have four arms? You must need them for work, typing at your two keyboards.

The real upper crust will go in for elective amputation without subsequent prosthesis.
posted by kenko at 9:55 AM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


The real upper crust will go in for elective amputation without subsequent prosthesis.

The real upper crust will have your limbs amputated for their use. You can deal with the janky prostheses; they will be all meat, all the time! Even their phones will be made from your optic nerves.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:00 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The paranoid part of my mind is convinced that this is a viral tie-in to Deus Ex: Human Revolutions, released this morning. Echoing gottabefunky's thoughts, a very good ad for the bionic prosthetics of Sarif Industries.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:01 AM on August 23, 2011


Nobody's going to go around chopping off their actual limbs just to replace them with Luke Skywalker arms.
Folks already do that without the promise of cool replacements.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:02 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


GenjiandProust: "Even their phones will be made from your optic nerves."

Sigh.
posted by schmod at 10:03 AM on August 23, 2011


Extra arms will be a status symbol.

The sport of ski-boxing will never be the same.
posted by bondcliff at 10:04 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is bad ass. +100 internet points to everyone involved in the project.

In related news, here's a great song about a one-armed drummer.
posted by phunniemee at 10:10 AM on August 23, 2011


From: JReyes//UNATCO.00973.20892
To: GHermann; ANavarre; JCDenton
Subject: Nano-Augmentation and You

I was asked by the regional medical coordinator to forward this information to
all of you. I do so without further comment...
Dr. Reyes
----------------
By now, you've heard about the upcoming transition to nano-augmentation. It's
coming, but not as soon as you think. UNATCO has only one nano-augmented agent,
with a second just now graduating from the Academy. It will be years before the
program leaves the laboratory.
Your mechanical augmentations are NOT obsolete. Some agents express concern that
they will be "walking junk" in ten years. One agent expressed their fears in an
anonymous e-mail saying "Well be sld at flee markets,. old gray golems for
scareing the children. So what about my legss? What about my LIFE?" [sic]
Keep some perspective. Prosthetics remain the only proven technology for
enhancing human abilities. Those who make the sacrifice are appreciated,
commended, and saluted as heroes.
posted by radiosilents at 10:11 AM on August 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


How do these work? I've read about experimental DARPA prostheses that actually get hooked up to the patient's nervous system. I assume these have some other means of control. What is it?

Also, are there any hacker-type-people with prosthetic limbs who do cool things with them? Like programming your hand to play the piano even though you can't, or using them as really awesome computer input devices, etc.
posted by vogon_poet at 10:19 AM on August 23, 2011


And they said we didn't have a reason to go to war in Iraq. I'll tell you the reason, so that prosthetics technology can advance with a big boost in funding by the military, can allow young, success oriented British public school students to obtain donated high-tech artificial limbs in exchange for PR.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:23 AM on August 23, 2011


What happens when these prosthesis become more appealing than real limbs?

In a word: "volamps".

Limbo by Bertrand Wolfe (1952)
 
posted by Herodios at 10:34 AM on August 23, 2011


... can allow young, success oriented British public school students to obtain donated high-tech artificial limbs in exchange for PR.

It's not exactly donated for free.

In the last video interview Matthew explains that Mercedes GP and Touch Bionics did technology sharing/exchange with Mercedes actually manufacturing some of the parts for his hand, taking the cost down from £25,000 to £10,000. The family has a fundraising website to pay the £10,000.
"Thanks to Mercedes GP Petronas, Touch Bionics have been able to offer a substantial reduction in the cost of the iLimb Pulse package, bringing it within range of a fundraising campaign backed by Mercedes GP.

A target of £10,000 has been set and we are determined to reach it.

The James Family"*
posted by ericb at 10:36 AM on August 23, 2011


I came to this thread to look for the inevitable Star Wars reference, and was not disappointed.

I'm surprised, however, that nobody's mentioned Zaphod Beeblebrox by this point.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:41 AM on August 23, 2011


There's also Dean Kamen's 'Luke Arm' Prosthesis (funded by DARPA).

"As Kamen show[ed Stephen] Colbert, we haven’t quite achieved Skywalker-like seamless bionic control, but we’re getting closer all the time."

Previous 'Luke Arm' FPP.
posted by ericb at 10:42 AM on August 23, 2011


Sometimes I think technology is really irritating and fanboys are the scourge of the earth. This happens when I spend too much time on youtube. Then I see something like this and I think - technology is amazeballs! And organizations getting their power together to make a difference in the lives of their fans is fanfreakingtastic, and would have been impossible before. YAY FUTURE!
posted by pazazygeek at 10:44 AM on August 23, 2011


* YAWN *

Call me when there's a prosthetic boy with a real hand.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:51 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I came to this thread to look for the inevitable Star Wars reference, and was not disappointed.

Let's see. It's a thread about prosthetic hand technology development. And there's this six-movie series that is one of the most popular film series' in the world, ever, where the most consistent (perhaps the only) unifying plot point is people getting their hands cut off and replaced with advanced prosthetics. I'd say "inevitable" is an accurate assessment.
posted by The World Famous at 10:52 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Billy's hand.
posted by juiceCake at 10:55 AM on August 23, 2011


I'm surprised, however, that nobody's mentioned Zaphod Beeblebrox by this point.

Google ski-boxing.
posted by darksasami at 11:02 AM on August 23, 2011


I sure hope that prosthetic hand didn't come from a synthetic strangler or anything. . . .
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:05 AM on August 23, 2011


I've been a fan of Ross Brawn since he led the buyout of the former Honda team in 2009 and went on to win the championship with Jenson Button. This makes me very, very happy to be a Formula One fan. Anyone heard of a NASCAR team do something like this?
posted by frijole at 11:42 AM on August 23, 2011


Reality check. We can't even fully connect nerves to actual biological implants, leading to weirdness like hearts that don't know to increase their pumping rate in response to exertion. It's cool to be able to grip things, but it's even cooler to be able to feel them.

As for super strength, well, the problem is that if any one component is significantly stronger than the rest of the body, it'll just rip off when you use its advanced capabilities.
posted by effugas at 11:48 AM on August 23, 2011


I came to this thread to look for the inevitable Star Wars reference, and was not disappointed.

I'm surprised, however, that nobody's mentioned Zaphod Beeblebrox by this point.


I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Fullmetal Alchemist yet.
posted by Gator at 11:56 AM on August 23, 2011


This is so very cool. I look forward to this tech becoming more and more accessible to people who need it.

That being said, this photo is sort of unfortunate; it makes the kid look like the prosthetic hand is huge, and all I can think is that he's well on his way to becoming a non-red version of Hellboy.
posted by quin at 12:37 PM on August 23, 2011


Something something Sarah Connor.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2011


As for super strength, well, the problem is that if any one component is significantly stronger than the rest of the body, it'll just rip off when you use its advanced capabilities.

My physics education is failing me. Could he have a hand that could, say, crush a billiard ball without ripping lose from his elbow, or would those forces inevitably get transferred to the place the artificial limb meets his body?
posted by straight at 1:19 PM on August 23, 2011


My physics education is failing me. Could he have a hand that could, say, crush a billiard ball without ripping lose from his elbow, or would those forces inevitably get transferred to the place the artificial limb meets his body?

No. He could not. That's why every rescuer who uses the jaws of life is a true hero for sacrificing their own body so that they can rescue another person. And it's why using a hammer is so painful.
posted by The World Famous at 2:03 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone heard of a NASCAR team do something like this?
The boys from DEI tried it last year, but there was a carburetor sticking off to the side. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that Schumi was bionic all along.
posted by pappy at 2:48 PM on August 23, 2011


Also, are there any hacker-type-people with prosthetic limbs who do cool things with them? Like programming your hand to play the piano even though you can't, or using them as really awesome computer input devices, etc.

More importantly, are there any hacker-type-people developing bluetooth wardriving controllers to force Dean Kamen's Luke Arm to make obscene gestures in public?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:41 PM on August 23, 2011


I'm not a total luddite, but i can barely put my hand in a washing machine without thinking it will eat me whole. Damn Maximum Overdrive and working around large equipment made me stupid and paranoid about new tech like this. Anyone else born in the 70's feel the same way?

I would have a hard time standing around that kid without waiting for his arm to tear his own head off, but I bet anyone under 25 is non-plussed by the whole thing.
posted by Staples at 4:57 PM on August 23, 2011


Yeah, but what did the white supremacist get when he wrote to Max Mosely?
posted by glaucon at 5:15 PM on August 23, 2011


A prosthetic arm, without an elbow, permanently extended at about 45 degrees. And a signed, imitation leather whip.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:40 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Give that boy a hand.
posted by w0mbat at 11:48 PM on August 23, 2011


I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that Schumi was bionic all along
His sponsorship ran out, which is why his flesh parts are wearing out this season.
posted by arcticseal at 2:22 AM on August 24, 2011


« Older Tom Waits' Private Listening Party The whole th...  |  "Uncle Frank" of late night T... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments