A prosthetic arm that is controlled by brain signals is in competition for the James Dyson Award. AMO Arm and its two inventors — Michal Prywata and Thiago Caires — have officially moved on to the final round of finalists for the international student engineering award.
On Nov. 8, inventor and innovator James Dyson will select the top scoring design. The winner will receive GBP 10,000 (for the student or the team) and GBP 10,000 for the winner’s university department. Prywata and Caires’ invention was selected from a competitive field of 550 inventions from 18 countries.
“AMO Arm is a prosthetic limb that is controlled using brain signals,” Prywata and Caires stated in a press release. “AMO Arm replaces an invasive, costly and lengthy surgical procedure, dramatically improving the quality of life for amputees.”
Prywata and Caires have already turned AMO Arm into a successful business venture that includes development of assistance devices for paraplegics, various types of amputations, and non-invasive blood glucose meters for diabetes patients. The Ryerson Biomedical Engineering students have built a company, Toronto-based Bionik Laboratories Inc., and are currently securing their first round of investor funding.
The Open Socket, an upper extremity prosthesis designed with mechanically controlled body movements, is also a finalist for the award. The revolutionary innovation of the Open Socket is that it can be fit for an amputee out of the box in under 10 minutes, while costing less than $100. Its low cost makes it a cost-effective option for use in developing countries.