Prosthetic arm moves after muscle contraction detected

DEKA is a robotic, prosthetic arm that will allow amputees to perform complex movements and tasks. It has just received FDA approval.

Electrodes attached to the arm detect muscle contractions close to the prosthesis, and a computer translates them into movement.  Six “grip patterns” allow wearers to drink a cup of water, hold a cordless drill or pick up a credit card or a grape, among other functions.

DARPA‘s Justin Sanchez believes that DEKA “provides almost natural control of upper extremities for people who have required amputations.”  He claims that “this arm system has the same size, weight, shape and grip strength as an adult’s arm would be able to produce.”