At the Edge of Fiction: The LUKE Arm (Colomba Films, Chile)

This excellent video segment by Colomba films (Santiago, Chile) highlights our recent DARPA HAPTIX study and participant, Keven Walgamott. The goal of our HAPTIX (Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces) research at the University of Utah’s Center for Neural Interfaces (CNI) is to attach a dexterous, sensorized prosthetic arm—the DEKA LUKE arm—to the user’s own remaining arm nerves and muscles after hand amputation. In this way, the user can control the arm naturally and intuitively, just by thinking about it. They can also receive biologically realistic feelings of touch and movement back from the arm, and ideally even begin to feel whole again. The video also highlights several CNI members and their ongoing related research projects.

This video, produced by the University of Utah Public Relations team in collaboration with the Center for Neural Interfaces, aired in Utah theaters for several weeks around the time of the Star Wars Episode IX release.

Miscellaneous Media Outreach & Attention

IEEE Pulse, "Restoring the Sense of Touch: From “Sci-Fi Dream” to Reality", May 12, 2020
Utah Business, “The bionic arm of the future is here”, April 24, 2020
University of Utah, February 5, 2020. “U of U Silicon Slopes Summit 2020”
Salt Lake Tribune, “University of Utah robotics breakthrough, the LUKE Arm, will be seen at theaters playing ‘Star Wars’ movie”. December 20, 2019.
Washington Post, “New prosthetic limbs go beyond the functional to allow people to ‘feel’ again”.
December 14, 2019.Constant Wonder, BYU radio interview with GA Clark, September 5, 2019. “Robotic LUKE Hand Let Amputee Feel Fingers Again”.
Top of Mind, BYU radio interview with GA Clark, August 28, 2019. “Biomedical Engineers Pave Way for Prosthetic Arm that Can Move and Feel the Same as a Human Arm”.
USA Today, “A bionic hand named after Luke Skywalker could help amputees feel again”. July 27, 2019.
CNN Business, July 26, 2019 "'Star Wars'-inspired prosthetic arm helps amputees feel again".
NPR, “Improved Prosthetic Hand Has A Lighter Touch And Easy Grip”. July 24, 2019.
University of Utah, July 24, 2019. “University of Utah researchers develop LUKE Arm”.
US News & World Report, “Veteran’s Bionic Hand Is Turning Heads in Mandeville”. March 18, 2018.
Neuro Transmissions, December 10, 2017. “Is Luke’s Robotic Hand Possible?”.
Aspen Ideas Festival, 2017, video with Arati Prabhakar (former DARPA director). "The Implications - Bright and Dark - of Powerful New Technologies"
Mashable, "14 years after an accident, this amputee uses a robotic arm to regain a sense of touch", Dec 5, 2017
Futurism, "New Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Poised To Transform Humanity", Nov 22, 2017
EurekAlert! (AAAS), "Engineering Tomorrow's responsive, adaptable neuroprosthetics and robots", Nov 14, 2017
Digital Trends, "High-tech neuroprosthetic "Luke" arm lets amputee touch and feel again", Nov 19, 2017
MedCityNews, "Neuroscientists take baby steps towards better prosthetics", Nov 16, 2017
The Washington Post, "New robotic hand named after Luke Skywalker helps amputee touch and feel again", Nov 15, 2017
US News, "Mandeville Man Ready for Amputation, Bionic Arm", Sep 9, 2017
The Times-Picayune, "Mandeville Army vet's amputation: 'Pain in the name of progress'", Sep 6, 2017
The Times-Picayune, "After years of pain, Mandeville man ready for amputation, bionic arm." Aug 22, 2017
Wired, "The merging of humans and machines is happening now." Jan 27, 2017
U News Center, “Utah Team Gets $1.4M for Bionic Hand Research. U Researchers Develop Neural Implant So Amputees Can Move – and Feel – Prosthetic Hand.” Feb 8, 2015.
“Department of Bioengineering Led Team Receives $1.4M for Bionic Hand Neural Interface Research.” Feb. 2015
The Daily Utah Chronicle, Carolyn Webber. “Financial Grant Helps U Researchers Lend a Bionic Hand to Amputees.” February 11, 2015
Deseret News, Emilee Bench, “University of Utah to Develop Technology for Bionic Hand Controlled by Thoughts, Gives Feeling.” February 16, 2015.
DARPA Press Release, “HAPTIX Starts Work to Provide Prosthetic Hands with Sense of Touch” Feb 8,2015
Neurogadget. “Darpa Funds Implantable Devices to Restore Sense of Touch, Improve Control of Prosthetic Hands.” February 14, 2015. Channel 2, February 9, 2015, 10 PM News with GA Clark and DT Hutchinson. “Team of Utah researchers perfecting bionic hand prosthetic”
Channel 13, February 15, News at Nine (with GA Clark and DT Hutchinson). “U Of U Researchers Secure DARPA Funding for Work toward a Bionic Hand Controlled by User’s Thoughts.”
The Scope, podcast interview with GA Clark, February 8, 2015. “A Prosthetic Hand that Moves and Feels.”
KSL radio interview with GA Clark, February 8, 2015. “U of U Researchers Receive $1.4 Million for research on Implantable Neural Interface.”
KUER radio interview & article with GA Clark, February 8, 2015. ”U Gets $1.4 Million in DARPA Funding for More Bionic Hand Research.”

The Center for Neural Interfaces has generated international attention in the media. Selected print, radio, and video releases are presented here. We encourage those interested to contact us.