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Prosthetic Arm Biomimics The Arms Of An Octopus

Kaylene Kau, a recent graduate from the industrial design department at the University of Washington was challenged by a professor to 'push the boundaries of prosthetic design.'  So she did, and here, inspired by the fluid movements of an octopus's arms, is her multi-jointed Prosthetic Arm.

 

Prosthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene KauProsthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene Kau

 

Kau's research on prosthetic arms revealed that they are used primarily to assist the dominant arm, rather than to mimic the actions of the dominant arm.  Her flexible design enables two important functions of her inspiration, as the octopus arm is great at picking up and holding things of various sizes.

 

Prosthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene KauProsthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene Kau  

The Prosthetic Arm is fitted to the remaining portion of the missing arm and has a number of separate links which act as joints to enable a variety of bending skills, even a tiny snail curl at the furthest end of the arm to grasp something small.

 

Prosthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene KauProsthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene Kau

 

The Arm is operated by controls located on the upper surface of the device.  They direct a motor and cables that run through the Arm contracting and relaxing the joints to enable their actions.

 

Prosthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene KauProsthetic Arm by industrial designer, Kaylene Kau

 

This Prosthetic Arm may not look very lifelike, but it certainly appears to be accomplished.  Ms. Kau... maybe you have a career in biomedical engineering ahead of you.  Congratulations on both your observations and your exceptional biomimetic design plan.

P.S. Octopuses don't have tentacles.

Coroflot.com via BigThink.com

 

Also read: Most Functional Bionic Hand Gets 2008 British Engineering Award

 

 

Comments
Dec 27, 2010
by Anonymous

No video? Serirously?

Come on! What could be cooler than an octopus arm for a prosthesis?

Not having video of this in action is just cruel.

Dec 28, 2010
by T Goodman

"Serirously"

Let us know if you find one!