Startup of the Week: Open Bionics

  • Open Bionics was founded in 2014 by Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne.
  • The startup have created the world’s first clinically approved 3D printed bionic hand, available for both children and adults.
  • So far, Open Bionics have raised $8.9 million over 12 funding rounds.





Working at ‘turning disabilities into superpowers’, our Startup of the Week for this week is Open Bionics!

Open Bionics are developing affordable prosthetics to help assist and enhance their users’ capabilities. The startup have already created a 3D-printed, multi-grip bionic hand called the Hero Arm. This device is the first commercially available bionic limb from Open Bionics’, also claimed to be ‘the most affordable multi-grip bionic arm ever’, the startup stating their product is less than half the price of its nearest competitor.

At age 17, co-founder Joel Gibbard started exploring 3D prosthetics and robotic hands, fascinated by their movements. This led to Joel creating hundreds of prototypes of such prosthetics, and in 2014, he started Open Bionics with co-founder Samantha Payne.



Want to be featured as TechRound’s Startup of the Week? Find out more about this weekly feature, and how to get involved, here.


The Hero Arm is the world’s first clinically approved 3D printed bionic hand, available for both children and adults. The prosthetics are made in Britain, and each one is designed specifically to each customer. A 3D scan of the user’s limb helps Open Bionics to tailor their Hero Arm specifically to each customer.

The Hero Arm is controlled using special sensors, which detect muscle movements in the user’s arm. This helps users to control their bionic hand effortlessly, with buttons, haptic vibrations and lights to offer intuitive notifications and further enhance user’s control of the prosthetic’s movements.

Open Bionics also develop Hero Arm prosthetics for children, and are currently working with Disney to create a range of covers for these – designs including those from the Marvel, Star Wars and Frozen universe.




So far, the startup have raised $8.9 million over the course of 12 funding rounds. One of their most recent rounds was announced in January 2019, a Series A which raised £4.6 million. They were also named in TechRound’s list of Medical Device Startups Revolutionising Healthcare.