The robotic LUKE arm developed by Dean Kamen’s DEKA research and development company is looking to hit the market later this year, being commercialized by Mobius Bionics.
The LUKE arm is designed as a robotic prosthetic arm for patients with forearm through shoulder-level amputations, and allows for a range of different motion, including overhead, behind the back and lifting items, such as a bag of groceries, from floor to tabletop.
“Up to this point, design in prosthetic arms has been limited to incremental changes. We developed the LUKE arm to change the game for amputees – creating an innovative, integrated system that offers greater functionality and independence to our wounded warriors and other amputees,” DEKA prez Dean Kamen said in prepared remarks.
The arm includes a hand with 4 independent motors and conforming grip to hold delicate items, the company said, ranging from a phone to an egg, or a gallon of milk. The arm can be controlled multiple ways, including electromyographic electrodes and foot-mounted inertial measurement systems.
Mobius Bionics said it expects to launch the arm in late 2016, and that it is collecting a list of individuals who are interested in the device.
The LUKE arm was originally developed by DEKA as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s “Revolutionizing Prosthetics” program, with additional funding from a contract with the Army Research Office.
“Working one-on-one with the amputees and learning what they liked and didn’t like about using prostheses proved invaluable to our product development process. Thanks to their insight and input, we have been able to construct the most advanced FDA-cleared design that the world of upper-limb prosthetics has seen to date,” Kamen said.