Open Bionics is a Bristol-based robotics company working with global partners like Disney, Konami, Fox, and Eidos-Montréal to turn disabilities into superpowers. Founded by Samantha Payne MBE and Joel Gibbard MBE in 2014, the company has won over 30 engineering and innovation awards including two British Engineering Excellence awards and the global Robotics For Good Award.

The company’s first product is the life-changing Hero Arm for below-elbow amputees. Since launching the bionic arm in 2018, the company has grown with its community to provide prosthetics for children as young as eight years old and adults who are born without hands or who lose hands to accident, injury, or illness. Most recently, the company designed and built a Hero Arm for a COVID-19 survivor who as a result of catching the virus, also suffered from viral sepsis requiring her to undergo a quadruple

The robotics company continues to challenge industry status quo by using 3D printing and 3D scanning, along with clever software and design, to make advanced, affordable and accessible bionic limbs. Engineered in Bristol, the Hero Arm uses myoelectric sensors which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm. These are then amplified and converted to intuitive and proportional bionic hand movements.

The company is growing rapidly due to their relentless dedication to create affordable assistive devices that increase mobility, independence, and quality of life. The company champions and empowers individuals to express themselves through their wearable medical devices. While the business is Bristol-based it has amassed a global community. The brand has achieved praise from global giants Forbes, WIRED, Dyson and has even welcomed support from renowned celebrities including Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker himself. The Hero Arm is now available through prosthetics clinics internationally including France, Spain, Netherlands, Australia and the USA which is the company’s largest market.


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