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DARPA-developed next-generation bionic arm hits the market

by • July 10, 2016 • No Comments

The future generation in prosthetic arms can soon be helping amputees get a grip in the real world. The LUKE arm, which was previously known as the Deka Arm, was created under DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program by DEKA Research & Development Corp. It obtained marketing approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 and is now set to hit the market later this year.

As we’ve reported previously, the DEKA arm is the initially prosthetic arm set approved for commercial markets which translates signals of a patient’s muscles into difficult motions. Rechristened the LUKE (Life Under Kinetic Evolution) arm by medical device maker Mobius Bionics, which can bring it to market with Universal Instruments Corporation as contract developer, the prosthetic can be the initially in a new product category for integrated prosthetic arms.

The LUKE arm’s central control technology, whereby electromyogram (EMG) electrodes are utilized to pick up electrical signals of the patient’s muscles, has been around for decades. The key technology is only how much movement, control and durablity the new process is able-bodied to translate of those signals to the arm which boasts up to 10 powered degrees of freedom.

According to Mobius Bionics, the LUKE arm can donate a number of new capabilities to amputees, which include a powered shoulder joint which can reach overhead or behind the back; an elbow sturdy adequate to lift a bag of groceries of floor to table-bodiedtop; a wrist with adequate range of motion and satisfactory dexterity to hold a glass of water overhead or at waist level without spilling; and a difficult hand with four motors which can hold heavy items and delicate ones like an egg without dropping or breaking either.

The process has a sensor which in addition returns “grip-force” information back to the patient, giving feedback of how firmly a thing is being grasped. One other new technology is the use of foot-mounted inertial measurement sensors connected wirelessly to the arm which contribute an alternative means of control.

The goal of an high end upper limb prosthetic with near effortless control is a thing DARPA began working on a decade ago. The LUKE arm is the outcome of years of research and development by DARPA, the U.S. Veterans Administration and private companies, which include over 10,000 hours of testing involving just about 100 amputees.

Mobius Bionics is now accepting names of individuals interested in owning one of the initially LUKE arms.

The original DEKA arm is demonstrated in the video at a lower place.

Source: Mobius Bionics

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