Joel Gibbard, the founder of Open Bionics, won The Limbless Association’s prosthetic innovation award in December for developing ‘3D printed’ robotic hands for amputees.

Credits: Open Bionics
Credits: Open Bionics

Operating from the Technology Business Incubator at The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), Joel’s company focuses on using rapid prototyping technology to produce low cost prosthetic limbs and help the estimated 11.4 million hand amputees worldwide. Lee Duffy was Joel’s close competition for the award with his work involving innovation of prosthetic sockets through the use of natural plant fibre.

Deborah Johnson, the awards judge and presenter, told UWE News, “I had a very difficult job selecting a winner from the top class nominees but was delighted to be able to present the award for product innovation to Joel Gibbard of Open Bionics for his incredible work on 3D printed robotic prosthetic hands.”

The Limbless Association Prosthetic and Orthotics Awards identify and honor notable accomplishments and contributions in the limb-loss and healthcare communities, celebrating inspirational amputees, prosthetics, user groups, and innovators.

Open Bionics, working alongside Sammy Payne at the BRL, has recently achieved several successes for its work including second place in Intel’s Make it Wearable Challenge while Joel has been named the Founder of the Year.

On receiving the Limbless Association award, he told UWE News, “This award is a magnificent validation of the work we’ve achieved so far, and it inspires us to keep pushing forward. It feels great to be recognised and supported by the amputee community; they’re driving this technology innovation as much as we are.”

By Aditi Verma