Gamer Born Without Hand Becomes First Person in U.S. to Get a Bionic Arm

 

A gamer who’s been bullied because they were born without a hand has now been fitted with a bionic arm inspired by a popular video game.

Growing up, Laiken Olive, a 21-year-old who uses the pronouns they/them, would wear a prosthetic arm to “hide their differences” from others. They were born with a congenital limb difference.

Now, they’re regularly asked to show off their arm on TikTok, doing Metal Gear Solid cosplays. They create videos that explain and tell their stories of living with a disability, usually using hashtags such as #disabled and #amputee. They now have over 29,000 followers on the app.

Olive is the first recipient in the U.S. of the ‘Venom Snake’ arm developed by Open Bionics – a British robotics company. In the video game Metal Gear Solid, the character Venom Snake loses his arm in an explosion and wears an iconic red and black bionic limb complete with detachable missile functionality and gadgets that stun enemies. Unlike the video game, the arm isn’t equipped with any weapons. But it does use myoelectric sensors to read the electric outputs of Laiken’s muscles, which are then converted into bionic hand movements.

Watch below, Olive creating an Instagram Reel wearing their bionic arm.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Laiken Olive (@thebionicbabes)

 

On the official Metal Gear Solid Facebook page, Olive explained that when they originally tried to get a bionic arm, the insurance claim denied it.

Following that denial, they were offered an arm which they described as “a heavy body harness most commonly known to be worn by military men.”

Although Olive is the first person in the U.S. to receive this $11,000 bionic arm, it’s now available for amputees in clinics across the country.

 

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