MILES O'BRIEN: He is focused on this amazing bionic device, an artificial arm brimming with actuators, batteries and silicon that creates 10 powered degrees of freedom and comes a lot closer to a human arm than the body-powered split-hook devices that were the only prosthetic option for arm amputees for so many years.
Kamen calls his arm Luke, a nod to this scene from the Star Wars series. But, of course, the real thing doesn't measure up to the silver screen science fiction.
GLEN LEHMAN: I don't know anybody today that would say, yes, I would rather have your arm than the original equipment. We're not there yet.
Almost every physical capability you have in your body, there's some actuator that can do it better. And I think those systems will eventually become part of people in prosthetic devices that they either wear or have embedded. And that will just be the natural progression of technology.
MILES O'BRIEN: Kamen's arm is also funded by the Pentagon. The goal? To improve the lives of wounded warriors, people like Glen Lehman, who lost his right arm in a grenade attack in Iraq in 2008.
You didn't know much about the state of the art of prosthetics beforehand, right?
GLEN LEHMAN, Iraq veteran: I had no idea. I'm the first arm amputee I have ever met.
MILES O'BRIEN: But he's an expert now and one of only 50 amputees in the world who can do this simply by thinking about it.Bionics was the stuff of childhood play for people my age. Now it might really come true. Not in terms of superhuman strength (though I'm sure that could happen) but in terms of actually being able to help people. The segment included people who got legs, arms and even hearing bionics.
If it was up to the level it was in the TV show, you'd have people thinking, "I want that!" (TV show? The Six Million Dollar Man and, even better, The Bionic Woman.)
It's weird, in a good way, to see something that we could fantasize and play when I was a kid become a possibility. The segment was really something.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):