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Researchers hope artificial arms will one day work and feel like a real arm

The technological and medicinal breakthroughs that scientists make today are often not even close to imaginable to researchers just a few years ago.  With monetary help, researchers at the University of Utah are hoping to once again do something simply amazing.  As part of the Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 project that is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), researchers want to make mechanical arms operate and function closely to real, biological limbs.  According to a press release from the University of Utah:

"Imagine an artificial arm that moves naturally in response to your thoughts, that allows you to feel both the outside world and your own movements, and that is as strong and graceful as an intact, biological limb," says bioengineer Greg Clark, the University of Utah's principal investigator on the project. 

The new prosthetic limb would operate because an implanted device would theoretically be able to relay nerve impulses in the limb to a small computer that would then send the impulse to the bionic arm.  If the research is successful, it could be a great step towards allowing people to once again have limbs that are work and feel like real limbs.

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Military applications
By peternelson on 4/29/2006 5:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm, funded buy DARPA......

Ok so we can manipulate a replacement limb.

But I suspect another motive may be much STRONGER limbs.

If we replace the body parts with STRONG robotic limbs a soldier could be inside a kind of walking body armour suit, with intuitive control.

Like those Manga cartoons of mech warriors etc.

The defense guys may not be funding this out of pure altruism ;-)

RE: Military applications
By knowyourenemy on 4/29/2006 6:32:38 PM , Rating: 3
Now we are touching upon Cyber-Punk. How cool!

RE: Military applications
By Hypernova on 4/29/2006 8:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that one of the goals for the Future Force programmes?

RE: Military applications
By ahkey on 4/29/2006 10:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Forget replacement limbs - how about an extra arm mounted on each shoulder, capable of working in sync or even independantly of the others.

RE: Military applications
By Wwhat on 5/1/2006 10:41:51 AM , Rating: 3
Or how about an artificial extra brain for soldiers so they can tell when a president is feeding them BS?

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