FDA approves groundbreaking bionic arm for amputees - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

FDA approves groundbreaking bionic arm for amputees

Even with today's technology, we are probably still light years away from recreating lightsabers, but a different invention from "Star Wars" is becoming a reality. Just like when Luke Skywalker received a new hand, researchers are now making that fiction a fact for real life amputees.

After almost eight years of research and testing, the FDA has approved a bionic arm that is truly groundbreaking. It is a battery powered prosthetic limb, known as DEKA. The device is controlled by brain waves, and can do things that most prosthetic limbs before it have not been able to do. It has the ability to perform intricate and delicate tasks such as zipping a coat, unlocking a door with a key, and handling an egg without breaking it.

The battery-powered arm is nearly the same size and weight of a natural limb, and has the ability to use 6 different grips. A computer inside DEKA allows it to determine what type of movement its wearer wants to make.

There are a few limitations though, because it can not be fitted for people whose arm was amputated at the elbow or wrist. It can, however, be fitted for amputees with loss at the shoulder joint, mid upper arm or mid lower arm. Out of the 36 people fitted during the FDA testing of DEKA, 90% of them were able to successfully use the prosthetic.

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