The Modular Prosthetic Limb is a bionic arm with human-level dexterity, weight, range of motion, and force generation. It's designed to restore full functionality to upper-extremity amputee soldiers.
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Using the MPL bionic arm and a brain-machine interface, a paralyzed man from Pennsylvania was able to reach out and touch his girlfriend's hand during a 2011 trial.
The Modular Prosthetic Limb was developed by the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) as part of DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, launched in 2006. The program funded two teams: Dean Kamen's DEKA R&D firm, which built the DEKA Arm, and Johns Hopkins's APL, which developed the MPL system. The first version of the MPL was finished in December 2009. The current version of the MPL was finished in December 2010. APL researchers, in collaboration with teams from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Chicago, University of Utah, and Caltech, are now performing experiments involving brain control of their arm by tetraplegic volunteers. The goal is to create a neurally controlled artificial limb that can restore full motor and sensory capability to upper-extremity amputees.