Amputee vets regain arm use through prosthesis

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two military veterans got a first-hand demonstration of what a combination of modern robotics, prosthetics and computer control can accomplish.

Amputee veterans Fred Downs and Artie McAuley each lost their arms a decade ago.

On Tuesday, they showed off the capabilities of a new, bionic prosthesis called the “Luke Arm,” doing everything from picking things up, to feeding themselves, to opening pill bottles.

The vets said having use of an arm again was overwhelming.

The arm’s battery-powered motors are controlled by a user’s feet with actions sensed by motion detectors. Users can even tell how hard they’re gripping an object by additional sensors that provide pressure feedback.

The Luke Arm is already commercially available through the VA system, but the manufacturer has yet to list a price on it.

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