Dean Kamen, Medical & Science
Recognizing outstanding service to Veterans by a member of the medical or scientific community.
Dean Kamen is an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology. In addition to inventing the Segway, he holds more than 500 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide.
After eight years of research, Kamen has developed a prosthetic arm with near-natural control to improve quality of life for amputees. The $100 million program used existing technologies and non- invasive control approaches to rapidly build a prototype and improve the design based on feedback from users, including veterans who lost their limbs due to combat injuries. Tests of the bionic arm were conducted as part of a study funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
What makes the Luke Arm unique is that it can carry out multiple, simultaneous powered movements, and its wrist and fingers can adjust their positions to perform six different user-selectable grips. In addition, force sensors let the robotic hand precisely control its grasp. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this is the first prosthetic arm approved by the agency that “translates signals from a person’s muscles to perform complex tasks.”
The Luke Arm is a game-changer for the growing cadre of wounded warriors across the country, providing unprecedented freedom of movement and control of life for those who have sacrificed for this country.