Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics Inc recently announced advancements in the use of the LUKE arm prosthesis that it notes could benefit a much broader range of people who are amputees.
These advancements, according to a news release, include: the first ever bilateral amputee fitted with two LUKE arms; the first private fitting of a LUKE arm featuring a fully integrated powered shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand; and the first non-investigational use of calibrated sensors capable of decoding natural muscle signals with the LUKE arm, translating the user’s thoughts into precise movements of the hand and wrist.
The LUKE arm is a modular prosthetic arm developed by DEKA Research & Development Corp with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and now manufactured by Mobius Bionics LLC. It is configurable for levels of amputation ranging from shoulder to forearm. The hand has multiple, preprogrammed grips using four powered degrees of freedom.
Representatives from Next Step, along with DEKA Research & Development President Dean Kamen and bilateral amputee Ron Currier, demonstrated the new developments recently during a news conference announcing the advancements.
“It is so incredibly gratifying to help our patients gain dexterity, freedom of movement, and independence through this technology,” says Matthew Albuquerque, president and founder of Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, in the release.
“I feel like I have my hands back again,” Currier shares. “I’ve always lived life as if there was nothing I couldn’t do, but always had to fight with prosthetics that just couldn’t keep up. Now, I have capability I wouldn’t have thought possible.”
“The way that machines are integrated with people is as important as the technology itself,” adds Kamen, in the release. “The expanded use of the LUKE arm through the advancements announced today is very exciting and hopeful news for veteran amputees and for the general amputee population.”
[Source(s): Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Business Wire]