menu

Segway Inventor Debuts A Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm

Segway Inventor Debuts A Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
technology

The DEKA Arm an be can perform complex actions that almost recreate the actual functionality of a human limb.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 13 may 2014


Dean Kamen, the inventor who brought us the Segway, has created a robotic arm that could be controlled by the user’s mind and can perform complex actions and multiple movements simultaneously.

The Food and Drug Administration has just approved the DEKA arm system, a prosthetic limb that is being described as one of the most realistic and human-like prosthetics to date since it brings back almost all functionality of the actual human arm.

The DEKA arm, which the creators are affectionately calling “Luke” after Star Wars character Luke Skywalker who received a robotic arm in one of the Star Wars movies, is about the same shape and weight of a natural adult arm and is capable of performing up to 10 movements.

Electromyogram (EMG) electrodes detect the electrical activity caused by the contracting muscles near the area where the prosthetic is attached. The electrical signals are transmitted by the electrodes to a computer processor in the robotic arm to initiate a specific movement or series of movements.

Aside from the EMG electrodes, the DEKA arm is also fitted with various mechanisms such as switches, and movement and force sensors that work together to make the prosthesis move.

The FDA approved the device after it reviewed data about the project, including the results of a Department of Veterans Affairs study that equipped 36 participants with the DEKA arm to see how they do with the arm when it comes to regular household tasks. The results of the study showed that 90% of the participants were able to do tasks that they could not do with their current prosthetics. These tasks included day-to-day things like preparing food and feeding themselves, using keys and locks, using zippers, and brushing their hair. The robotic arm system can help users handle objects ranging from a grape to a powertool.

The prosthetic arm can be configured for people with limb loss occurring at the shoulder joint, mid-upper or mid-lower arm, but not for those who have lost a limb at the elbow or wrist joint.

The DEKA arm is still being developed further. The project is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army Research Office.

DEKA
[h/t]: Business Insider, Defense Systems

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology december 2, 2016

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children december 2, 2016

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel december 2, 2016

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Derek Man Lui

Copywriter / Map Hacker

Food december 2, 2016

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture december 2, 2016

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport december 2, 2016

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 2, 2016

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated december 2, 2016

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Fashion december 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work december 2, 2016

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing december 2, 2016

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

Arts & Culture december 2, 2016

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Automotive december 2, 2016

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

Gaming & Play december 2, 2016

This Game Lets You Be A Pilot In The Drone Racing League

DRL Racing Simulator recreates actual courses in a virtual environment

Travel december 1, 2016

Hotel Chain Is Giving Away Its Not-So-Super Hotel Art At Art Basel

A lesson in how to advertise a kitschy-to-cool redesign in the middle of Miami Art Week

No search results found.