Apprentices from BAE Systems’ military aircraft business in Samlesbury are heading to a prestigious technology exhibition in Spain with an award-winning gadget they developed to aid military personnel with hand-related injuries.
Grace Atkinson, Adam Websdell, Joshua Barker, Sam Winter, Alicia Humphries, John Taylor and Sam Jones, engineered the gadget known as Exograb, pictured.
They formed a team to enter BAE Systems’ Apprentice Innovation Challenge, a bi-annual competition run with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Exograb was developed using computer-aided design and produced using the latest 3D printing capabilities and a technique that straightens the arm of the patient to create a pincer movement.
The team has now been invited to the Innovation and New Technologies Exhibition being held in Spain this May after picking up three awards at the British Invention Show last year, the UK’s largest show for invention, innovation and technology.
Team member Sam Winter, from Preston, said: “Patients suffering hand related injuries would often be given litter pickers to help redevelop dexterity in their hands and fingers, but it wasn’t always effective.
“For example, patients can’t use a litter picker to pick up a glass of water. So we looked at these limitations and came up with Exograb.”
Michael Christie, Chief Technologist for BAE Systems MAI division, said: “The team behind Exograb has delivered something so simple yet so effective.”