Amazing footage of next generation prosthetic arm

Someday, when your estranged father cuts off your hand with a laser knife, the only long-lasting impairments you'll have to deal with will be the psychological ones.

In this clip from his new TV show on Planet Green about nifty inventions working their way from the lab to the real world, Dean "Segway" Kamen shows off the Luke Hand—a prosthetic arm that wearers can use like a real arm; controlling it with joysticks in their shoes, and getting feedback about how hard their grip is from a small, vibrating motor. It's a big deal, because it provides a level of small motor skills that hasn't previously been available in prosthetic limbs. Users can pick up objects as small as a chocolate covered coffee bean, or peel a banana without squishing it.

The next step, Kamen says, is a prosthetic that's controlled entirely by the mind, just like a real limb would be. Cool stuff!


    1. Yes, I believe there was an experiment using a primate that allowed the use of third arm, and that enabled its use. I’d like two extra – one for the mouse and another for coffee mug.

  1. Mind controlled prosthetic arms are already in use. Search for “First Mind-Controllable Artificial Arm Gives Hope of Independence” on youtube. (As it happens, the first receiver — featured in this video –, died today as a consequence of an accident he had a few days ago.)

  2. Heard a great TED talk with him discussing the emotional side of this as well – “TEDTalks : Dean Kamen: The emotion behind invention – Dean Kamen (2009)”

  3. More interesting than control through a joystick is something that is still way off, but coming. Training the machine and the person together, so that an electrode array implanted in the surface of the brain controls the device. It’s been done in a very simplified way so far, but you know how technology develops…

  4. I heard a CBC piece a couple years ago about a prosthetic arm that used muscle nerve signals for control signals. They put a bunch of electrodes or something like that on the surface of the patient’s pectoral muscle, and with training they could control the arm pretty well.

  5. It is great that a person can create something
    so important to help other people.

    This is something incredible and very good
    because this way people that have had an
    accident can be closer to having a normal
    life and be able to do things they couldn’t
    do before, they can do different activities
    with their families and friends.

    with this the people may feel they are owners
    of their own lives, they do not have to rely on
    other people and can have their free lives again.

  6. @ Anon

    I seriously would like to know how he managed to take off his arm scraping a post while driving out of a car park. I mean, I’m not an expert here, but I usually exit car parks slowly because you can’t re-merge into traffic worth feces, the way they are usually built. But tragic for him nevertheless.

    @ x4e71

    It was in the news around here as well. Considering that he passed a standard driver’s license exam and had been driving for a while both before and after the accident that cost him his arms, it was probably an error on his part and not a malfunction of the prosthetic.

  7. Prosthetic hand useful but don’t want to lose real one. Need it to pat girls if naught else.

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