If you’re interested in all things about robots, you’ll be delighted to hear the London Science Museum is currently hosting a Robotics exhibition dedicated to all the weird and wonderful bots the UK has made over the past 500 years. Excitingly, the show is featuring some of Bristol-based Open Bionics‘ work. A 3D printed robotic hand that the company built is now on display – you have until 3 September 2017 to see the unique exhibition.

And no wonder Open Bionics‘ remarkable work has been featured; the company builds affordable 3D-printed bionic hands for amputees. Their robotic hands are cheaper than the NHS non-robotic prosthetics, meaning this development is having a huge positive impact on many lives and a fitting contribution to a wonderful display of innovation.

Helpful hands

samantha-payne-open-bionics-spark-skillsWe caught up with Samantha Payne (pictured left), co-founder of Open Bionics, who visited the museum to check out the display. “The museum does a great job of showing the huge leaps in progress,” says Samantha. “We have a robotic hand in demo mode at the exhibition that highlights how robotics is becoming more accessible.”

On top of this, the team have yet another exciting announcement; Open Bionics won the International UAE AI & Robotics for Good award, which came with an astonishing $1 million prize!

It’s an impressive win as the Bristol-based company had over 1600 fellow applicants from all over the world. Open Bionics told its social media followers: “Now we have the funding to push our hands through the final stages of medical testing and finally get them to everyone who needs one.”

“Our hand is super light, easy to make, open source and dexterous”


Samantha explains, “Our hand is super light, easy to make, open source and dexterous. So it’s a great platform for researchers. Our next robotic hand, which is nearing release, is a lot stronger and more nimble so we’re excited to show that development off too!”

Working with robots: Co-founder Joel Gibbard talks about how he produces flexible prosthetic limbs

Open Bionics also has a range designed especially with children in mind. The latest hands feature Disney-inspired artwork, making child amputees feel like the Ice Queen Elsa or giving them their very own lightsaber hand!

Don’t forget to check out the Science Museum’s robotic exhibition, it’s running until 3 September. To find out more about Open Bionics, check out their website or give them a follow on Twitter here: @openbionics

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.