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Science & Technology

DARPA delivers state-of-the-art bionic arm

December 28, 2016 | Comment icon 3 comments

The bionic arm offers unrivalled strength and dexterity compared to other prosthetics. Image Credit: DARPA
Military amputees are to be among the first to benefit from DARPA's revolutionary new prosthetic arm.
Known as LUKE, the new arm is fitted with an array of advanced motors and electronics and has six user-selectable grips, making it possible for the wearer to carry out day-to-day tasks with ease.

Its name stands for 'Life Under Kinetic Evolution' and is also a reference to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars who is fitted with a new hand after he loses his own in a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader.
DARPA has been working on the technology behind the prosthetic limb for eight years and it is hoped that it will offer a significant quality of life upgrade for amputees.

"The commercial production and availability of these remarkable arms for patients marks a major milestone in the RP program and, most importantly, an opportunity for our wounded warriors to enjoy a major enhancement in their quality of life," said DARPA's Justin Sanchez.

"Ultimately we envision these limbs providing even greater dexterity and highly refined sensory experiences by connecting them directly to users' peripheral and central nervous systems."

Source: DoD | Comments (3)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by brlesq1 5 years ago
Very cool. I'm pleased for them.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Eldorado 5 years ago
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!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Parsec 5 years ago
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 ... [More]

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