Prosthetic arm that can perform tasks approved for sale in U.S.

By Marie Blake,

A new advanced prosthetic arm, which uses muscle movement to perform more complex tasks, has been approved for sale in the United States.

The Associated Press reports that the new robotic arm, created by DEKA, can flex different muscles and be used to perform a multitude of tasks.

The DEKA arm system, named "Luke" after Star Wars' Luke Skywalker, was tested on 36 U.S. military veterans who have lost their lower arms. Ninety percent have found the device to be more useful when performing tasks than their original prosthetic arms.

"The DEKA Arm System may allow some people to perform more complex tasks than they can with current prostheses in a way that more closely resembles the natural motion of the arm," director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the Food and Drug Administration, Christy Foreman said.

According to The Independent, the arm will give amputees the ability to brush their hair, feed themselves, use locks, keys and zippers.

The arm was created by Dean Kamen, the same man who created the two-wheeled Segway machine.

The DEKA arm can detect muscle movement in the area in which the prosthetic arm is attached, allowing the arm to make 10 different powered movements.

The prosthetic arm is the same shape and weight as a human arm, and was manufactured by DEKA in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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