The Luke prosthetic arm was approved by the FDA two years ago and has been in development since 2006. The Luke aims to be the most advanced and innovative prosthetic arm on the market (Photo via Mobius Bionics)
The world of prosthesis is always changing thanks to advanced technology. One person adding to the change was Segway creator Dean Kamen with his creation the Luke prosthetic arm. It's been in the works for a long time and was approved by the FDA two years ago. Then it seemed to vanish with little news regarding its progress. Now, the Luke prosthetic is ready to make its big debut. Mobius Bionics, a new medical device company, has announced it will release the Luke prosthetic arm in late 2016.
It's been a while since the device was first pushed into development, so let's recap on what makes the prosthetic limb so advanced. It features the latest technology in electronics, motors, batteries, and materials. It also has state-of-the-art flexibility, strength, and dexterity as a way to give more independence to its users. The advanced inner workings gives users the ability to reach overhead or behind the back thanks to its powered shoulder, a powered elbow that's strong enough to lift groceries from floor to table, and a powered multi-movement wrist to hold a glass of water overhead or at waist level without spilling.
The Luke prosthetic arm also features a hand that aims to be as precise, flexible, and strong as its natural counterpart. There are four independent motors that help control grip ensuring users can hold a variety of things from the fragile (smartphone or egg) to heavy items (gallon of milk). There's even grip force sensor that determines how firmly is being grasped and relays this information to the user. And there's no need to worry about the prosthetic being damaged by water or being overloaded with dust – the arm offers protection against these elements.
The Luke arm was developed by DEKA Research and Development Corp as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) prosthetics program. Originally launched in 2006, the team set out to build a prosthetic arm with near natural control that would ensure independence and improve quality of life for amputees. 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,” explained Dean Kamen, President of DEKA.
After years of research and testing from nearly 100 amputees for over 10,000 hours of use, the Luke arm is ready for the public. To serve as contract manufacturer, Mobius Bionics has picked Universal Instruments Coporation to help produce the arm. “Universal Instruments is pleased to partner with Mobius Bionics to bring the LUKE arm to market, enabling greater independence for upper limb amputees,” said Keith O’Leary, CFO & COO of Universal Instruments. So how can you get one? It seems there's a waiting list to sign up for. Contact Mobius Bionics regarding the Luke arm by calling 855-MOBIUS-1 (855-662-4871) or visiting their website mobiusbionics.com.
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