Mobius Bionics, the company commercializing the robotic LUKE arm developed by Dean Kamen’s DEKA research and development, said last week the 1st 2 LUKE prosthetic arms were provided to the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
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.
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.
“The VA has been a critically important partner to DARPA and DEKA in the testing and refinement of the most advanced prosthetic technology available, and we are excited that the VA is now helping Mobius Bionics to bring the LUKE arm to its 1st prescription users. Because of the unwavering support of DARPA, the LUKE arm is now available to everyone who needs it, especially those who lost an arm in military service to our country,” DEKA prez Dean Kamen, President of DEKA.
Paralyzed Veterans of America prosthetics consultant Fred Downs and Army vet Artie McAuley were the 1st 2 individuals equipped with the LUKE arm, according to the Manchester, N.H.-based company.
“This technology is the most significant advancement in upper-limb prosthetics in decades. It’s a wonderful feeling to see it being deployed to veterans, and I’m honored to be one of the early recipients,” Downs said in a prepared statement.