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US FDA approves Star Wars robotic arm for amputees

Published on May 10, 2014 5:03 AM
 
The DEKA Arm System is pictured in this Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) handout image released on May 9, 2014. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the robotic arm for amputees that is named for the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker and can perform multiple, simultaneous movements, an advance over the metal hook currently in use. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a robotic arm for amputees that is named for the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker and can perform multiple, simultaneous movements.

The FDA said on Friday it allowed the sale of the DEKA Arm System after reviewing data, including a US Department of Veterans Affairs study in which 90 per cent of people who used the device were able to perform complex activities.

These included ussing keys and locks, preparing food, feeding themselves, using zippers, and brushing and combing hair.

The prosthetic arm, developed by New Hampshire-based DEKA Research and Development Corp, received funding from the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the US Army Research Office.

 
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