New Frontiers In Assistive Tech: Bionic Prosthetics And Soft Prosthetics


Joel and Nate will share their remarkable journey with Open Bionics and Koalaa, detailing the development and market launch of the world's first 3D-printed bionic hand and soft prosthetics. They will emphasize the critical role of user feedback in the design process and discuss how incorporating the voices of those who use their products has shaped their innovations. Additionally, they will provide insights into the future direction of Open Bionics and Koalaa, informed by years of customer input and market analysis.


Nate Macabuag is Founder of Koalaa: developers of revolutionary soft prostheses and a virtual service that aims to make prosthetic services accessible to everyone on the planet, regardless of background or income. Koalaa builds Prostheses like clothes; flexible and light, that can be self-fitted in seconds, sent through the post and supported by peer-to-peer communities without the need for heavy medical infrastructure. Nate developed the technology at Imperial College London as part of his third-year Mechanical Engineering project working closely with Alex Lewis, designer and quadruple amputee. The team have been crowned “Disruptor of the Year” at the London Business Awards 2020 and recently made the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Nate loves his job, and when he’s not working is relaxing with a good comic book, ideally featuring Iron Man!

Joel Gibbard is the CEO and co-founder of Open Bionics, a pioneering company based in Bristol, UK, that specializes in creating affordable, advanced prosthetic limbs. With a background in robotics, Gibbard's vision for Open Bionics is to utilize 3D printing technology to produce prosthetic hands and arms that are not only cost-effective but also customizable and accessible to amputees around the world. His innovative approach has garnered international recognition, transforming the lives of many and making significant strides towards inclusivity and accessibility in the field of prosthetics.

Tuesday, 13 August 2024

11:00 - 11:45 BST


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  • Nate-Macabuag
    Nate Macabuag
  • Joel-MBE
    Joel Gibbard
    CEO and Co-founder
    Open Bionics
  • timconnell.png
    Professor Tim Connell
    Emeritus Professor
    City, University of London

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