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Dean Kamen shows off DEKA Luke prosthetic arm on Colbert Report

Dean Kamen shows off DEKA Luke prosthetic arm on Colbert Report

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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:

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure