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: