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Kamen firm wins $7M DARPA contract for prosthesis that provides sensation of touch

Staff Report
July 07. 2015 9:43PM
The DEKA Arm System is capable of handling objects as delicate as grapes and eggs and also manipulating power tools, such as a hand drill. (DARPA)

MANCHESTER — Inventor Dean Kamen’s company will receive $7 million for his work in helping to develop a prosthetic arm with a sense of touch.

The money is from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Kamen runs DEKA Research & Development Corp. DARPA said the contract was awarded to DEKA Innovative Solutions Corp., a Kamen firm.

DEKA officials weren’t available for comment.

DARPA already has given Kamen at least $40 million to develop a prosthetic arm that offers a wide range of motion that amputees, primarily wounded U.S. soldiers, can control via Bluetooth sensors attached to their shoes.The latest money is part of the initial phase of a DARPA program that wants to create a prosthetic hand system that moves and provides sensation like a natural hand, according to DARPA’s website.

DARPA said it is evaluating several distinct technical approaches and those that prove successful will continue.

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