That's what inventor and self-taught physicist Dean Kamen told the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) when they asked him to develop a fully brain-controlled arm prosthesis in just two years.
Today, Kamen and his team of engineers lay claim to one of the first brain-controlled prostheses in the history of robotics. The arm, which possesses ultra-fine motor skills in addition to strength, is capable of picking up a raisin without dropping it.
In fact, the 'raisin test' was one of DARPA's original demands when he was first commissioned to design the incredible prosthesis. "With the arm you're going to give us ... a guy is going to pick up a raisin or a grape," Kamen remembered DARPA officials telling him. "If it's the grape, they won't break it. If it's the raisin, they won't drop it." In 15 months, he had built an arm that could accomplish both tasks with ease.
Kamen drew inspiration from the hundreds of soldiers and veterans he worked with to develop the Luke Arm. "It's not about technology," he said, "it's about people and stories. Speaking of a meeting held to gather suggestions from amputees and veterans, Kamen said: "We didn't give them support and encouragement. They gave it to us."