The bionic arm is the most advanced of its kind and is set to become available to amputees through licensed healthcare officials.
A mind-controlled bionic arm, that has been in development for the last 10 years, is set to be available on the market by the end of this year.
The prosthetic limb, named LUKE after the Star Wars character Luke Skywalker from a scene where he receives a robotic hand at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, will be released by Mobius Bionics and will be available through licensed healthcare professionals.
Invented by Dean Kamen and engineers from The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) LUKE can do more than most prosthetic limbs like reaching over the head and behind the back, lifting heavy objects off the floor and general handing of objects with more ease thanks to motors located at the shoulder, elbow and hand. LUKE has been tested by hundreds of amputees with great success and Mobius Bionics are ready to release this and make it available to all amputees.
“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 in a release.
It’s most amazing feature are the electrodes placed on the person’s amputated limb that allows electrical signals to be picked up from the muscles. As the muscles changes and tenses, LUKE adapts its position and grip. This is a far cry from current prosthetics that are controlled using buttons and switches, all of which have to be manually.
It will come at a price though, with price tags estimated at tens of thousands of dollars although the creators have no disclosed yet what they expect the technology to fetch.