Dean Kamen shows off DEKA Luke prosthetic arm on Colbert Report

Summary:Segway inventor Dean Kamen shows off the latest version of a brain-controlled prosthetic arm that promises better mobility for amputees.

Segway inventor Dean Kamen appeared on the Colbert Report last night to show off the latest version of the DEKA Labs "Luke" Arm, a sophisticated prosthetic limb that promises better mobility for amputees.

Named after Star Wars' Luke Skywalker (naturally), the arm first hit the drawing board after a solicitation by DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program.

"They came to me and said, 'These kids deserve way more than [a plastic stick with a hook on it] if they've given their arm for us.' "

The challenge: create a prosthetic limb that allows amputee soldiers to pick up an object as tiny and delicate as a grape.

DEKA has been working on the project since 2005, and it's come a long way. The neurally-controlled device promises a better quality of life for limb-less Iraq and Afghanistan veterans -- particularly those who return as bilateral amputees.

Here's the video:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

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Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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