APL-led Team's Prosthetic Arm Honored by 'Popular
The Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 team — an
international collaboration led by Johns Hopkins'
Applied Physics Laboratory — was honored with a
Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award at a ceremony
held Oct. 10 at the Hearst Tower in New York. The awards
recognize innovators who improve lives and
expand possibilities in the realms of science, technology,
engineering and exploration.
"Popular Mechanics is devoted to recognizing
innovations that re-imagine the role that
technology and science play in our lives," said James
Meigs, the magazine's editor in chief. "All of this
year's Breakthrough Award winners do just that — and
demonstrate how new discoveries and inventions
can actually make the world a better place."
Earlier this year, the RP 2009 team, which is funded
by the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency, completed work on Proto 1, the first fully
integrated prosthetic arm that can be
controlled naturally and provide sensory feedback. The arm
also allows for eight different kinds of
movement, a level of control far beyond the current state
of the art for prosthetic limbs. The Proto 2
limb system, unveiled in August at the DARPA Tech 2007
conference in Anaheim, Calif., boosts that
number to 25, and has the strength and speed of movement
approaching the capabilities of the human
limb, combined with more than 80 individual sensory
elements for feedback of touch, temperature and
A complete report on the Breakthrough Awards appears
in the November issue of Popular
Mechanics, on newsstands now.
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