Vets Get the Newest Prosthetic Arms

Two veterans became the first recipients of the most modern prosthetic arm to date, during a June 30 ceremony at a New York hospital. The “LUKE” (Life Under Kinetic Evolution) arm system provides users with the ability to perform intricate, dexterous movements of their arms and hands. It also allows for simple and intuitive function, and offers a fully functional shoulder joint as well, according to DARPA. Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Mobius Bionics of Manchester, N.H., it was tested on more than 100 patients before making its formal debut. Two veterans – Fred Downs and Artie McCauley – received the first usable versions from VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin during the ceremony. McAuley lost his arm during the Vietnam War. Downs, a prosthetics consultant with the Paralyzed Veterans of America and former procurement officer with the Veterans Health Administration, lost his arm in an accident while stationed on active duty at Fort Drum, N.Y.