But that's not all. "We also developed foot controls, where you wear a tiny sensor on the top of your foot so that you can control the arm from your feet as an optional input device," Doyon says. "You use your feet to tilt either left or right or forward or backward to control different aspects of the arm by moving your feet like a joystick."
These electrode and foot controls can be mixed and matched -- a "whatever works for you" kind of deal. "It's up to the prosthetist and the amputee to come up with the best mix of input methods to control the arm," Doyon adds. "We provide the most flexible system for them to work together to find out which control method works for each individual person." Crazy cool.
Amputees say it works, and it's about to become available
After DEKA and the Veterans Administration conducted a bunch of lab and home studies where nearly 100 amputees tested the Luke Arm in their daily lives, doing normal activities like eating, writing, turning pages, the invention accumulated over 11,000 hours of use and won FDA approval in 2014. DEKA got busy figuring out how to manufacture it at a non-ridiculous cost, and finally announced the commercial release of the arm this summer.