What we do:
Losing a limb through an accident, illness or military action is incredibly traumatic, but rehabilitation can also be a challenge. Currently, if you lose your hand, there are two prosthetics the NHS will most commonly provide, both of which are relatively rudimentary.
"You can get a hook-type prosthetic, super primitive, or a gripper prosthetic, which just opens and closes. Bionic hands with multi-grip functionality, cost up to £60,000 from private providers - just too expensive for amputees."
Open Bionics's dream is to make an open-sourced robotic hands so that amputees around the world can download files and 3D print their own hands at home.
Open Bionics uses 3D scanning and printing to revolutionise the prosthetic design and fitting process. The target cost is that an OB hand will be under £5,000 and take a fraction of the time to build.
Prosthetics must custom fit each user, and the software must also work for them too. The significant innovation and cost-savings come from changing the materials that prosthetics are made of and using 3D scanning to take the initial fitting. This takes about two minutes, and a socket can then be built in just 24 hours.
Why we do it:
Working at Open Bionics is rewarding on two distinct fronts.
First comes the pleasure of knowing that the work has a huge impact on those unfortunate to have lost a hand.
The pleasure of seeing a young child being able to undertake tasks that were previously impossible is amazingly rewarding.
Secondly on a technical front, the team are constantly pushing engineering boundaries as they seek to improve our technology whether it be the prosthetic itself or how to share information worldwide.
This requires close cooperation between all the mechanical, electronics and software engineers and programmers. It can be a long process, but when a new idea works there is a real sense of achievement.
The People who do it:
OB is a young team of bright engineering minds working in a field that is breaking conventions and exploring new ways of sharing technology as well as developing the products themselves.
Its offices are informal and relaxed which belies an underlying passion for pushing boundaries to make a real difference to lives around the world.
Our Engineers include:
Mechanical engineers, Electronics engineers, Software designers, Materials engineers