Dean Kamen the “Segway Guy” recently talked with Katie Couric about one of his company’s latest inventions, the “Luke” arm. The Six Million Dollar Man was the first time we thought about man and machine together in a body. In Star Wars after Luke lost his arm, it was replaced with a bionic arm. Amazingly that technology is now real-world thanks to Kamen.
The Defense Department asked Kamen with DEKA Research and Development to enhance current prosthetic arms to improve the quality of life for returning injured soldiers. The functionality of this new prosthetic arm is incredible. Opposable thumbs are one things that separates us from many animals. It was incredibly complex to make that motion possible, as well as all the other movements that occur on an arm. This particular project made huge strides in applying technology for improving quality of life.
Kamen and his company are well known for improving medical devices to enhance life and for developing completely new products that change the way we live. His goal is to combine technology to solve big problems. He works on projects for major medical companies to deliver solutions they might not be able to attain.
Kamen and DEKA are shining examples of technology application and innovation. Studying his approach and example should lend some innovation to our products. How could we enhance our products or our processes with new technology? Imagine what we all could do with a tenth of his ingenuity.