Mobius Bionics LLC has announced the commercial introduction of the LUKE arm, the first prosthetic arm cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the new product category for integrated prosthetic arms.
Developed by DEKA Research & Development Corp., the LUKE arm incorporates the up-to-date technology in electronics, motors, batteries, and materials. The arm offers flexibility, strength, and dexterity to provide greater independence for people with forearm through shoulder-level amputations, according to Mobius.
Features of the advanced prosthesis include:
- A powered shoulder with the capability to reach overhead or behind the back
- A powered elbow with the strength to lift a bag of groceries from floor to tabletop
- A powered, multi-movement wrist with the precision, range of motion, and dexterity to hold a glass of water overhead or at waist level without spilling
- A hand with four independent motors and a conforming grip to hold everything from delicate items such as a phone or an egg to heavy items such as a gallon of milk without worrying that the item will slip or break
- An innovative grip-force sensor that senses how firmly something is being grasped and communicates that information to the user
- A variety of ways to control the arm, including electromyographic (EMG) electrodes and foot-mounted inertial measurement sensors
- Protection against water and dust – offering peace of mind when used inside and outside the home
The listed features and capabilities are provided to the prosthetist as a complete system, eliminating potential compatibility issues between joints or components, according the company. The development is the result of research and testing by nearly 100 amputees for over 10,000 hours of use.
Mobius Bionics has selected Universal Instruments Corp., Binghamton, N,Y as the contract manufacturer for the arm, which is scheduled to launch commercially late this year.
The LUKE arm was developed by DEKA Research & Development Corp. as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) prosthetics program with additional funding from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command through a contract with the Army Research Office.
Working with DARPA and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Service under a federal interagency agreement, DEKA was directly engaged with amputees in a number of studies, including VA studies, to better understand how the intersection of biology and engineering could ultimately lead to advanced prosthetic technologies.
DEKA executives said the company obtained performance feedback on the design from VA clinical optimization and take-home studies along with its own take-home studies.