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 December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




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>