Open Bionics bags UK James Dyson Award for affordable 3D-printed prosthetic hand design

Open Bionics is 2015’s UK winner of the prestigious James Dyson Awards for the design of its 3D-printed prosthetic hand.

Designer of the prosthetic hand, Joel Gibbard, a robotics graduate from Plymouth University, claims that the hand can be produced in mere 40 hours; and with a price tag of less than £1,000. It is seen as an affordable alternative to advanced robotic prosthetics, which costs anything from £3,000 to £60,000.

Gibbard claims that the low-cost robotic hands designed by him are able to perform the same tasks as advanced prosthetics, including individual finger movement through the use of electromyographical sensors that are stuck to the amputee’s skin.

The Open Bionics team will receive £2,000 for winning the prestigious James Dyson Award, which the team plans to put towards a new 3D printer to speed up the prototyping process. The design will also be put forward for the $45,000 (£28,500) international prize, scheduled to be held in November.

Gibbard says he aims to start selling the prosthetics next year. He intends to charge customers £2,000 for the device, including the cost of a fitting.

The runners up of the national James Dyson Award included a kitchen waste unit capable of separating fat, oils and grease from water, and a device that enables near perfect text-to-speech translation.