Defense

May 14, 2014

From idea to market in eight years, DARPA-fFunded DEKA Arm System earns FDA approval

The DEKA Arm System is capable of handling objects as delicate as grapes and eggs and also manipulating power tools, such as a hand drill.

DARPA launched the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program with a radical goal: gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for an advanced electromechanical prosthetic upper limb with near-natural control that enhances independence and improves quality of life for amputees.

May 9, less than eight years after the effort was launched, that dream is a reality; the FDA approved the DEKA Arm System.

DARPA is a place where we can bring dreams to life,î said Dr. Geoffrey Ling, M.D., Director of DARPAs Biological Technologies Office . Dr. Ling is a retired Medical Corps neuro-critical care officer who served in combat hospitals in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He launched the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program in 2006 with a desire to provide better care to repay some of the debt we owe to our Service members.

The newly approved system expands prosthetic choices for amputees, who have generally used body-powered prosthetics ñ in particular the split-hook device invented in 1912. DARPA took up the challenge to advance the field of modular upper-limb prosthetics and committed to making the significant research and development investment required.

The system allows for simultaneous control of multiple joints using a variety of input devices including wireless signals generated by innovative sensors on the users feet. The battery-powered arm system is of similar size and weight to a natural limb and has six user-selectable grips. The DEKA Arm System is indicated for individuals 18 and older.

Many technological breakthroughs at the intersection of biology and engineering were necessary to enable the creation of the arm system: for example, miniaturization of parts for motors, computer controls and sensors, and manufacturing processes with lightweight, but strong materials.

Sensors in the hand of the DEKA Arm System can provide feedback on grip strength.

A number of federal agencies contributed to the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program. The FDA reviewed information from a Department of Veterans Affairs-funded Optimization Study, which included data from 36 participants. The United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command provided funding assistance to enable completion of tests and trials required to meet FDA requirements. The U.S. Army Research Office provided contract management support.

Interagency collaboration has been critical to the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program to allow for independent assessments of the technology, incorporation of user feedback into the design, and identification of regulatory strategies and transition paths,î said Dr. Justin Sanchez, the current program manager. ìWe could not have achieved our goal so quickly without the support of many partners in government.

The DEKA Arm System was developed by DEKA Integrated Solutions in Manchester, N.H. FDA approval allows DEKA to pursue manufacturing and commercial opportunities to bring the arm to market.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late - Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 
 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 

 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>