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A big hand for Joel Gibbard!

Sorry for the bad pun, but we really want to celebrate the fact that Joel’s robotic hand for amputees has won the James Dyson Award.

Joel is the founder of the Open Hand Project, which makes robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees, and its parent company Open Bionics, which 3D prints affordable superhero robotic hands.

He aims to start selling the prosthetics next year, intending to charge £2,000 for the device, including the cost of the fitting. This is roughly the same cost as the arms fitted with hooks currently on the market, whereas similar arms with controllable fingers are more like £20,000 to £60,000.

Furthermore, existing products take weeks or months to obtain. Joel can 3D-scan an amputee using a tablet equipped with a special sensor, 3D-print the parts in about 40 hours, and finally fit them together in a further two hours, giving them a custom-fitted socket and hand in less than two days.

We’ve got a bit of catching you up to do on Joel’s other news.

Back in May, he was at London’s 3D Print Show, as featured on the BBC News website. Watch the video from about 2:00.

And in October 2014, he was named British Young Design Engineer of the Year (pdf) at the British Engineering Excellence Awards. The Judges said: “A highly motivated, dedicated young engineer with multidisciplinary skills and an impressive record of achievement already.”

Many congratulations Joel!!