Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Luke Arm

If you're a Star Wars fan, you'll know that Luke Skywalker gets a prosthetic hand/arm in the Empire Strikes Back. Of course, we know that he wasn't the first Star Wars character to require prosthetic limbs. His father (Anakin Skywalker) ended up needing quite a few prosthetic limbs (one arm and two legs), but that's another story. Let's talk about the DEKA Arm.
Affectionately dubbed “Luke” (after Luke Skywalker), the robotic arm is a DARPA funded project intended to restore functionality for individuals with upper extremity amputations. The project is still in development, please check back for updates. This project is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army Research Office.  This information does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the government; no official endorsement should be inferred. 
When I was in high school, I was inspired to study biomedical engineering at MIT because I wanted to work on something like the Luke Arm. I made it to MIT and I ended up studying mechanical engineering, but I didn't pursue a career in robotics. Instead, I ended up in medical school and here I am blogging about the Luke Arm. In any case, I think the DEKA Arm is a great project and I'm eager to see how this project unfolds.

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