Inventor Dean Kamen Discusses DARPA's LUKE Arm

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"...Somewhere around 2007 I got a visit from a guy who was frenetic. He was in full uniform; he's a colonel; and within a few minutes you realize besides being a colonel who had done a couple of rounds in Iraq and Afghanistan, he's also a neurosurgeon, and he's very passionate about taking care of his people. And within a few minutes of when we meet Dr. Ling, he's pounding on my conference room table saying, 'Look, Dean, at the end of the Civil War we gave people, soldiers, a wooden stick with a hook on it when they gave their arm to a musket ball. Now, it's 150 years later and we give them all sorts of things way more sophisticated than muskets, but maybe an IED or something takes their arm, we bring them back, we give them a plastic stick with a hook on it.' He said, 'That's going to stop.'"

Thus begins inventor Dean Kamen's recollection of how he began working with DARPA to develop the LUKE Arm, a new generation of prosthetic limb that gives amputees unprecedented, near-natural arm and hand motion. On June 30, 2017, two veterans became the first recipients of these arms.

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