Our 12 Days of #Techmas has covered a lot of awesome gadgets, but our final day features a device that seems like it is straight out of the futurethe DEKA arm.
The DEKA arm, also known as the Luke arm (after Luke Skywalker), was recently approved for market by the Food and Drug Administration. The arm is a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and allows the wearer to control the prosthetic with electrical signals prompted by the contraction of muscle where the arm is attached.
Because the device uses electrical signals that trigger electrodes for movement, the user is able to perform multiple, simultaneous powered movements that more closely resemble natural arm and hand movement, as opposed to current body-powered prosthetics like the split-hook device.
Sealevel team member Wallace Krebs was recently invited to Tampa, Florida to be a participant in the DEKA arm studies. Using wireless signals generated by sensors attached to his feet, Wallace is able to control the individual fingers and wrist, allowing him to perform a variety of diverse movements, such as picking up a water bottle or paper clip. He is currently testing the arm while on vacation in Florida, visiting Disney World, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
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