Feb 21, 2017 | By Tess

3D printed prosthetic hand maker Open Bionics has taken home the International UAE Robotics for Good Award, a recognition that includes $1 million in funding. The award, which was presented to the UK-based startup this past Saturday, was given out as part of the UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good competition.

Photo: Open Bionics Facebook

The competition, as the official award website says, “intends to support innovation in the key area of artificial intelligence and robotics as part of the UAE’s commitment towards the National Innovation Strategy.” It is no wonder then that Open Bionics, an organization that has, since 2014, dedicated itself to developing and providing affordable 3D printed bionic hands to those in need, would take home the International Robotics prize.

Open Bionics was selected out of a pool of over a thousand applicants from all over the globe, each of which submitted their own innovative technology for consideration. Other notable applicants included Unmanned Rover System (URS) in the category of social services/relief; Marsi-Bionics’ Gait Exoskeleton, a wearable device that helps children with neurological diseases to move more easily; the DOME Project; the Fathom One underwater drone; and more.

We can only imagine how excited the team from Open Bionics is to have not only received recognition from the UAE but also to have received a sizeable monetary prize. Open Bionics expressed its excitement on Facebook, saying: “Team OB just won the Robotics for Good Award in Dubai. Over 1,600 technologies for good applied and after competing against the top 10 best assistive technologies the judges chose our bionic hands! 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.”

Here at 3Ders, we’ve covered Open Bionics’ innovative and humanitarian work closely, from its 3D printed superhero prosthetics for kids, to its expertly designed Deus Ex inspired prosthetic arm, to its easily assembled £500 3D printed robotic hand. And we have to say we are happy to see the Bristol-based startup achieve such success.

Photo: Open Bionics Twitter

Winners in the national categories are also worth mentioning here, as they each took home a prize of Dhs1 million for their projects. Daniel Waleed’s team, from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) took home the national prize for the UAE AI/Robotic for Good Awards for their innovative In-Pipe Inspection Robot, a device capable of detecting gas leaks in pipes.

In the national drone category, a team from the Sanad Academy in Dubai took home Dh1 million for their 3D printed Smart Ring drone. The idea behind the Smart Ring was to enhance traditional life-saving flotation rings with drone power. The Smart Ring, made up of only a few 3D printed parts, is designed to be deployed by life guards in order to help save drowning victims in a timely manner.

The UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good competition was organized by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Fund.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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