Deka Research Star Wars 'Luke arm'

Dean Kamen's company, Deka Research (creators of the Segway), has been working for the past two years on a prosthetic modular arm to help amputees. The arm weighs in around 50 7.5 lbs and has an impressively wide range of motion. From the IEEE Spectrum article:

"The arm has motor control fine enough for test subjects to pluck chocolate-covered coffee beans one by one, pick up a power drill, unlock a door, and shake a hand. Six preconfigured grip settings make this possible, with names like chuck grip, key grip, and power grip. The different grips are shortcuts for the main operations humans perform daily."

This is really cool but I don't know about the foot controls, what happens when the guy walks?

Via Science Punk

AnnonW on Feb 23rd, 2008 3:10pm
That's awesome, now they just need to interface with the nerves in the arm or shoulder.
Max on Feb 24th, 2008 4:48pm
Dean Kamen is incredible! The "Maker Profile" on him in Make Volume 4 (page 28) was fascinating. I remember seeing a video of him talking about this arm project a while ago. I think it was a video from TED. Cool to see how the project has evolved.
Sally on Feb 29th, 2008 6:11am
You write: "The arm weighs in around 50 lbs."

It's 7.5 pounds. Can you imagine schlepping around a 50-lb arm?

Otherwise, nice post. Agree about possible ramifications of foot control, but I believe he can turn it off while walking.
s1axter on Feb 29th, 2008 7:43am
Hahaha, good catch, i'll change it :-P