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DARPA delivers state-of-the-art bionic arm


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Here's your new bionic arm.  Here's your old uniform.  The potatoes are over there.  Guinness World Record crew are on standby.  Let's go!

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This is a good step forward, but still needs implementation (like a sensory feedback system, as other models already feature).

With the development of new mind controlled systems like the ones we are witnessing lately, I wonder how viable in the foreseeable future will be the technology this arm is based on. 

This arm (like all the others actually) is based on sensors located inside the socket, placed in contact with the remnant muscles and nerves of the arm. 

Sometimes they also implant some electrodes under the skin to enhance the connection. 

The user has to learn how to contract correctly the muscles, in order to give the right input to the arm, hand or fingers.

Well, this looks like an improvement, since they also use the feet to control the fingers. 

Basically it will be like riding a bike! 


Anyway, if we could bypass it entirely and going for a direct mind connection, that would be probably both better and more precise in the movements. 

Then again, the hardware should be able to keep up with the user and this is where the real limitations still lie today. 


On a different subject, so this fantastic new arm will be available only for the soldiers (sorry, "warriors")?

This sure is news. 


And by the way, the article is incorrect at best, when they say that


When the LUKE arm first went into development, people who had lost upper limbs had to use a relatively primitive split-hook device that hadn’t changed much since it was introduced in 1912.

That's not true, at least outside the US. 

This kind of technology exists since roughly 15 years, so 8 years ago, when the article states that the project LUKE started, it was already available to everybody, even civilians. 


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