The muscle signals are detected by sensors attached to the skin of his shoulders - the sensors are connected to a harness across the top of his body that then operates the arm and hand, all powered by battery.
The building is light, spacious and airy and it has facilities schools could only have dreamed of ten years ago.There are well-equipped science laboratories; top-of-the-range keyboard systems linked to powerful computers for writing and playing music; milling machines that can create 3-D models from designs created on computer for students studying manufacturing and design; and creative and media suites stuffed with industry-standard audio and video recording facilities.A very important part of the York jobs sector is Science City and business, says Archbishops deputy head John Stone.“So we need to prepare pupils for that.” Importantly, the centre has forged close partnerships with a host of local businesses and organisations, such as Portakabin, Nestlé, CPP and Smith & Nephew.I didn't want to look as if I'm going to kill someone,' says James, whose part-man, part-machine new life with his robotic arm is explored in a new BBC3 documentary, which is available to view online from tomorrow.
For all the benefits of the arm, he can't wear it all the time: as well as taking it off to shower or sleep, he has to have a rest from the weight - at 4.7 kg (10lb) with the battery, harness and the layers of heavy gel used to mount the prosthetic arm on the skin of his shoulder stump, it's heavy.
STEPHEN LEWIS checks out the stunning new sixth-form centre at Archbishop Holgate’s School in York and talks to teachers and pupils about their smart new home. She peers closely at the level of the liquid still in the burette. “Actually, no, it’s 17.3.” Leah and her classmates, Bonnie Tang and Heather Walker, are among a group practising their titration techniques for Applied Science.
IN A gleaming laboratory at York’s newest sixth form, Leah West, 16, is peering intently at a clear liquid trickling through a tall glass burette into a conical container below. The liquid in the burette is acid, Leah explains; the liquid in the container below is alkaline.
Another drop splashes down and suddenly the dark red liquid in the lower container turns clear. The two neutralise each other – and when enough acid has been added to neutralise the alkaline, the colour changes.
By measuring how many millilitres of acid it takes for that to happen, you can tell how strong the acid is. But actually, the class is as much about learning the laboratory skills of titration and accurate measurement as it is about the theory, says teacher Alexis Green-Harding.
Designs for fully articulated cyborg legs and feet are even further advanced than hands, because legs are more at risk of being severed in accidents.