The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

When talking to researchers in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh, “Star Wars” is likely to come up. Specifically, the scene in “The Empire Strikes Back” when Luke Skywalker is fitted with a prosthetic hand, after losing his in a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader.

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency

It’s a common plot point in science fiction stories – someone loses an arm and gets a prosthetic limb that can move and feel just like the original. And, that’s exactly what researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are working toward.

Clinicians, engineers and scientists have teamed up to develop prosthetic arms that not only move naturally, but also allow the wearer to experience the sensation of touch.