Star Wars-inspired bionic arm helps users control device with their mind

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (WPVI) -- In Utah, the Star Wars movie saga has inspired engineers to create a bionic arm.

The arm will allow an amputee to not only grasp objects but to control the device with the mind and to return the sense of touch once again.

The device is called the "Luke Arm" after the one used in the Star Wars film by the character Luke Skywalker. It works by tapping into an individual's existing muscles and nerves.

Keven Walgamott tested the bionic arm at the University of Utah Center for Neural Interfaces. He lost his hand in an accident 17 years ago.

The device enabled Walgamott to hold his wife's hand for the first time in nearly 20 years.

"When I touched her hand, was able to feel and then we both clasped hands with both hands. It was rather very emotional," he said.

Right now, the Luke Arm is only available to be used in a lab environment. The engineers are hoping to have it ready for home trials in the next two years.
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