DARPA and OSRF Developing Next-Gen Prosthetic Limbs in Simulation and Reality
One of the most direct, tangible ways that robotics can help humanity is by restoring independence to people who don’t have it. This is especially true for robotic prosthetics, as they transition from systems with a mind of their own to systems that are leveraging your mind instead.
Earlier this week, DARPA announced contract awards for HAPTIX (“Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces”), a program that “seeks to create a prosthetic hand system that moves and provides sensation like a natural hand.”
It sounds cool, but what really drove the importance of this home for us were two videos that DARPA posted today: one showing amputees eating and drinking with DEKA arms—created by Dean Kamen’s DEKA R&D firm for DARPA—and another showing a U.S. Army volunteer using one to climb up a rock wall.