Think and it's done [prosthetic design and production]

Think and it's done [prosthetic design and production]

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At first sight, the LUKE arm looks much like the prosthetic arms that preceded it. But this limb, named after the `Star Wars' hero Luke Skywalker who acquires a robotic arm in 'The Empire Strikes Back', is much more responsive than its predecessors. Developed by DEKA Research and Development as part of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) Revolutionizing Prosthetics initiative, the arm is being taken to market by start-up Mobius Bionics. It uses electromyogram (EMG) electrodes to detect electrical signals created when the wearer's remaining muscles contract. The electrodes transmit the signals to a processor embedded in the prosthetic that controls its movement: opening and closing fingers or changing the grip. Sensors in the wearer's shoe can transmit commands wirelessly in response to foot movements to alter the grip.

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