Science Cafe NH in Nashua moved to a new venue last night – Riverwalk Cafe downtown, a very nice space – to discuss the technology of prosthetics, or replacement limbs.

My favorite story came from Matt Albuquerque, founder of Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics in Manchester, who was one of three panelists answering questions.

He talked about the first three-jointed (wrist, elbow *and* shoulder) powered arm being developed by DEKA, Dean Kamen’s R&D firm, which he kept calling the Luke arm, the informal used during project development.

Why Luke? Star Wars, of course – Luke gets his hand cut off by Darth Vader in the “I am your father!” scene that is one of the cultural touchstones of the geek world, and he got a futuristic prosthetic replacement.

However, Albuquerque said, the trademark-possessive folks at Lucasfilm were not happy when word of this trickled to them, so Luke will not be the official name when the product is sold – plus, DEKA engineers scrambled to think up a “backronym” to justify using it at all.

Here’s what they came up with, Albuquerque told us: Life Under Kinetic Evolution. 

He couldn’t keep a straight face when saying it.

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