Robotics company Open Bionics is to be awarded £100,000 through SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England initiative, as part of its latest mission to fund new innovations that will support children living with disability and long term conditions. Based at the University of the West of England’s Bristol Robotics Lab, Open Bionics launched in 2014 to develop low-cost bionic hands for amputees using 3D scanning and printing technology and won the James Dyson award for most innovative engineering.
The SBRI Healthcare programme works to identify and support areas where technology can be applied to address major healthcare issues. Nine companies are each receiving up to £100,000 through the scheme, which is led by the 15 Academic Health Science Networks across England.
“This technology can be life changing for amputees and we appreciate the NHS working with us to bring this cutting-edge technology to the public,” said chief operating officer at Open Bionics Samantha Payne.
“We are one of the first companies in the world working on certifying a wearable 3D printed medical device. We are immensely proud that the UK is at the forefront of this new medical technology [and] are looking forward to being able to offer advanced multi-grip bionic hands.”
Regional Development Advisor at the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), Urszula Kapoulas, commented: “Each of the successful technologies encourage independence. They focus on restoring function and providing appropriate support for self-care and remote monitoring.
“With six percent of children in the UK living with disability, ingenious solutions such as the brilliant bionic hands being created by Open Bionics, can be genuinely life changing.
Image – 10-year-old Tilly lost her hands to meningitis as a baby and asked to trial Open Bionics’ advanced hands as current prosthetics for children her age do not offer multiple grips and individual finger movement.
Read more: Bristol-based bionic arm wins Dyson Award