Open Bionics


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.

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

Filton Road Bristol BS16
Get directions

How to Join Us:

Opportunities to join the team arise from time to time. Check the link to find out MORE


Who We Work With:

In creating prosthetics for kids, the Open Bionics team wanted to create designs they would feel proud to wear. They’re not just getting medical devices, they’re getting bionic hands inspired by favourite characters.

The Walt Disney Company generously donated the time of its creative teams and provided royalty-free licenses.  Similar agreements have been reached with Marvel, Lucas Films, Eidos Montreal and 20th Century Fox.

Open Bionics is backed by Techstars, Downing Ventures, and Cascade Global.

In the Community:

Knowing there are hundreds of people around the world that really want to contribute to designing a fantastic robotic hand Open Bionics created a developer community.

People can sign up and post their developments in OB forums and there are bite-sized projects for developers to take on and give feedback about what else they need.


Photos and videos by Open-Bionics, Ultimaker and Jon Aitken.