The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab has won a $34.5M DARPA contract for human testing of a neural interface for a prosthetic arm.
The arm, developed as part of DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 program, offers 22 degrees of motion, including independent movement of each finger for the same weight as a natural limb. In this two year project, the team will now develop and clinically test implantable micro-arrays to demonstrate dexterous manipulation through the patient’s thoughts.
In addition, the artificial limb will provide the patient with sensory feedback, restoring the sensation of touch. The results of this program are expected to help upper-limb amputees and spinal cord injury patients, as well as others who have lost the ability to use their natural limbs through severe injuries or degenerative neurological disease.