What Dean Kamen plans to show off

News.com's Ina Fried has the scoop on what Kamen will demonstrate Thursday. It's a new kind of prosthetic arm.

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Segway inventor Dean Kamen plans to show off one of his latest inventions at the D: All Things Digital conference on Thursday. Kamen, who has done much work in the medical field, will reveal a new kind of artificial arm that he says is vastly superior to existing prosthetics .

Deka Research and Development
Dean Kamen

In a brief interview on Wednesday, Kamen told me what separates this new limb from past efforts is the depth of motion that it can offer. With just two days of training, said Kamen, the founder of Deka Research and Development, a soldier who lost both arms in Iraq was able to use the prosthetics to disassemble and then reassemble an M-16 rifle.

On my recent trip to Colombia , I saw some nonprofits doing some incredible work in the area of prosthetics legs--a particularly important project in Colombia where land mines continue to injure large numbers of people.

Kamen said that while mines tend to blow off legs, the improvised explosives used in Iraq tend to sever arms, a trickier limb to replicate. Anyway, he'll have more to say on his work on Thursday.

Click here for full coverage of the D: All Things Digital conference.

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About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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