Robo Bionics is a Mumbai-based startup that uses its expertise in the field of robotics to create prosthetic hands. This innovation helps amputees in their daily chores and also enables them to touch and feel.
The company was founded in 2016 by Llewellyn Dsa, Kumari Priyanka, Anil Nair, and Osden Mascarenhas. The idea of Robo Bionics struck Llewellyn when he was studying at IIT Patna in 2014 and met his classmate Jayant Vyas.
Jayant did not have a limb since birth and had experimented with a couple of artificial limbs in the past. To Llewellyn’s surprise, he found that these arms were more appropriate for an amputee rather than someone with a congenital disorder. The prosthetics were heavy for long-duration use. He then started researching to develop an artificial arm that solves this problem, resulting in the birth of Robo Bionics.
The Innovation of Robo Bionics
With the motto to ‘spread hope and building confidence’, Robo Bionics has successfully developed Grippy. Grippy is an affordable, 3D-printed prosthetic hand that uses the sense of touch technology and reduces learning time. It is also NABL Lab Safety tested and certified. This innovation costs between Rs 2 -3 lakhs which is lower than others in the market, starting from Rs. 8 – 10 lakhs.
The sense of touch technology enables the user to identify the object, hard or soft and it also helps them understand whether the hand is open or closed. It is designed to perform day-to-day activities like opening a bottle, holding a newspaper, etc. The technology aids the user in accepting the prosthetic hand.
A user who has congenital (deformations by birth) amputation generally faces hard to adapt with prosthetics as they don’t know how to use their hand muscles. On the other hand, the sensor and weight of prosthetics should be designed keeping in mind that the user may have experienced traumatic amputation (limb loss due to accident). Robo Bionics has successfully Tested and fitted two users with congenital (deformations by birth) amputations, other than the 25 traumatic amputation users (limb loss due to accidents).
The sense of touch technology enables the user to identify the object, hard or soft and it also helps them understand whether the hand is open or closed.
Llewellyn D’sa, Co-Founder, Robo Bionics, said, “We have developed our own sensors named MMG sensors that work on the pressure displacement rather than nerve activity, because of which the product learning time by the user gets reduced to half as it’s as easy as operating a doorbell and it doesn’t depend on conditions like sweat, humidity and fatigue like traditional EMG sensors. We have also added a feedback loop like our proprietary sense of touch technology that enables us to reduce the learning time and incorporate a Bio-Feedback onto the product”.
Robo Bionics has recently been felicitated as the Top 5 Social Impact Start-ups by the Adani Group GreenTalks 2021 and is awarded as the Emerging Social Enterprise 2021 at TiE Sustainability Summit 2021. The most recent achievement includes bagging the National Startup Award 2021 in Medical Devices on the eve of National Startup Day.
This startup was also a part of the TIIPS Incubation Event, organized by JBIMS- Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in association with Touchwood Advisory and Management. This event was organized to provide startups with a platform where they can present their businesses in front of investors and mentors. Organized in December 2021, it included hosts like Dr. Srinivasan .R Iyengar, Director of JBIMS, Mr. Ganesh Gokhale, Founder of Touchwood Advisory and Management and Mr. Mayur Bansal, Serial Entrepreneur, running ventures into Tech & Media space, Production house, Gaming, Co-founder of Jyppzer kids & Neta G.
Over 20 million people in the world suffer from hand-related disabilities. Robo Bionics is developing solutions to be the pioneers of Hand Rehabilitation across the world and is also working on variations of Grippy for specialized purposes and also setting up multiple assembly stations across the country for more accessible servicing.
“We strive to improve and deliver robotic and bionic solutions to enhance the quality of human lives. Any circumstances must never break the human spirit, and through our technology and innovation, we are empowering human nature to ‘never feel broken’,” says Anil Nair.