Nearly two years after the Food and Drug Administration's approval, DEKA has a manufacturer and could change the lives of people within 2016.
Developed by inventor Dean Kamen and Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA), the LUKE arm offers a level of skill and flexibility almost unheard of in prosthesis technology. LUKE features engines at the shoulder, elbow, and hand height.
The result is a full arm or forearm of intent that can do things that many others can not. The LUKE Arm, for example, allows users to reach over their heads, lift relatively heavy objects from the floor and handle minute and more rugged objects with relative ease.
It also has a two-way communication system. Electrodes allow user controlling movements of the LUKE Arm with muscular movements and the device transmits information to the user via a force grip sensor.
Upon completion of the clinical trials with more than 100 truncated, the LUKE arm will be sold by DEKA Mobius Bionics, LLC, and manufactured by Universal Instruments Corporation.
"Working one by one with their amputations and learning what they liked and did not like about the use of prostheses proved to be valuable for our product development process. Thanks to their insight and contribution, we will be able to build the FDA's most advanced plan that the world of prosthetic upper limbs has seen so far, "Kamen said in a bulletin.
While it is quite advanced, the LUKE Arm is not the only next-gen offshore technology. 2014, researchers in Sweden, successfully linked a pioneering prosthesis to a person's body through a technique known as osteointegration, which truly establishes the hand with the bones of the user and creates a more direct interface between the muscles of the truncated member, the nerves and of the prosthetic hand.
They still do not exist information about how much a LUKE Arm will cost, but it will surely have a fairly high price. Instead, an 3D-printed hand, which has nothing to do with such a sophisticated, can cost just a few bucks like $ 50.