U.S. Approves Robotic Arm – DEKA Arm System

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Amputees can now rest easy and anticipate the dawning of a new era in their anatomy as the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of the “Luke” prosthetic arm.

Named after the famous Star Wars protagonist after his father and main antagonist Darth Vader severed his natural limb with a Light Saber, the company responsible for the breakthrough was founded by Segway instigator Dean Kamen and was also actively involved in its development. Also known as the DEKA Arm System, the artificial limb can understand and detect as many as 10 muscle movements of its human counterpart, thereby providing its owner a “near natural” feel.

The Arm also boasts of the same weight and shape as that of a natural human appendage and, as depicted by the US FDA’s statement, electrodes attached to the prosthesis reacts to the commands of the user’s brain. The video demonstration itself is a stunning admission of what the Arm can do, anything from handling keys, holding sensitive and fragile materials to administering everyday tasks.

The project also found its initiative streamlined from a mere dream to a tangible, ready to be used contraption in just eight years, thanks to DARPA’s help and a reported $40million in pledges and assistance.

It’s high time to hide those metal hooks of yore; today, the world, not only amputees, is blessed with the feel of things to come. It is a “landmark” for DARPA nonetheless, and this is not the last.

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