Ep 9. - James Young & The Phantom Limb


In this episode of the Future Grind podcast, host Ryan O'Shea sits down with television host and science communicator James Young to discuss his participation in the Phantom Limb project. Through a partnership with the Metal Gear Solid video game series, James helped to design and received a custom bionic limb - a journey which was featured in the BBC documentary "Bodyhack: Metal Gear Man." We also dove into his new BBC Three documentary "Can Robots Love Us?", and discuss the shortcomings and limitations of both prosthetics and robotics.

Find James online - jamesahy.com@jamesahyoung

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Show Notes

  • How James became the Metal Gear Man [1:20]

  • The mental impact of a hand-shaped prosthesis [3:47]

  • Should we stop trying to design the human hand? [5:44]

  • Design challenges and the problem of revering evolution [7:18]

  • The engineering challenge & complexity of the human hand [8:21]

  • What is more advanced, prosthetic arms or prosthetic legs? [9:48]

  • Owning multiple prostheses for different uses [12:46]

  • The potential of 3D printing and the costs of prostheses [15:28]

  • The drone-equipped, tricked out Phantom Limb [17:27]

  • The drawbacks and limitations of the Phantom Limb [18:31]

  • Osseointegration - the promise and perils [19:40]

  • Electrode implants, costs, and risks [23:37]

  • Best nerve & muscle options for implanted electrodes [26:26]

  • The romanticized prosthetic limb [28:02]

  • Will prosthetics outperform biological limbs? (Spoiler: Yes) [30:33]

  • The (limited) benefits of prosthetic limbs [32:23]

  • The source of James’ passion for science & tech [34:21]

  • Spreading inspiration & a passion for technology [36:21]

  • Inside BBC’s Can Robots Love Us? [37:20]

  • The future of robots [41:17]

  • Theme: Be realistic about tech [43:26]

  • AI Winter (is coming?) & diversity in tech [43:57]

  • Alexa pipes up [47:31]


BodyHacking Con
The Alternative Limb Project
Sophie De Oliveira Barata
Angel Giuffria - White Rabbit Project
Osseointegration - Crowd Funding Campaign
Grindhouse Wetware
Oscar Pistorius
Neil deGrasse Tyson

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