Joel Gibbard of robotics firm Open Bionics wins £125K Intel prize

5th November 2014

Joel Gibbard of Bristol-based robotics company Open Bionics has come second in the global Intel Make It Wearable Challenge with his idea to make 3D printable artificial limbs.

Having been shortlisted from over 400 entrants from teams from all over the world, Joel (pictured far right, next to team mate Sammy Payne) was only just pipped to the winning spot by Nixie – the first wearable camera that can fly.

Joel founded Open Bionics at the Bristol Robotics Lab at UWE’s Frenchay campus and we’ve been writing a lot about him on TechSPARK in recent days, but for good reason: he landed the Founder of the Year SPARKies 2014 award and the Young Design Engineer of the Year in the British Engineering Excellence Awards last week.

And it’s not surprising, his idea for a dexterous robotic prosthetic limb which can be 3D printed for less than the cost of the basic pulley-system replacement limb provided by the NHS is a proof of concept everyone can see the worth of.

“We totally believe this money will help to revolutionise the prosthetics industry with the use of 3D scanning and 3D printing technology”

 

Founder Joel Gibbard said about winning the $200,000 (£125,000) Intel prize: “It has been an awesome experience learning from business experts and the other teams. We’re far more customer focused now and the result is going to be a prosthetic that is perfectly suited to the needs of amputees. With the money we’ve now won we can complete the development of this device and get these hands on amputees.”

“We totally believe this money will help to revolutionise the prosthetics industry with the use of 3D scanning and 3D printing technology.”

Worthy winners

Joel added about his competitors: “Team Nixie totally deserved the win, they are an amazing set of people who are using technology to open people’s minds about what’s possible. Likewise, ProGlove are a team of immense talent and I have no doubt that we will be seeing huge innovations from them in the future. It feels great that the winning teams were all from Europe and that we could represent Bristol and the UK.”

“It feels great that the winning teams were all from Europe and that we could represent Bristol and the UK”

You can find out more about Joel’s ‘low-cost high-function’ robotic limb in the video below:

Find out more at the Open Bionics website, of follow @openbionics on Twitter.