Businessman buys 3D printed bionic arms for UK kids
He’s working with a Bristol-based company to produce the artificial limbs for children who have lost limbs to illness or injury.
Tej Kohli is a venture capitalist and technology investor/entrepreneur who has been on a mission for years to improve the lives of those around him, in any way possible. Years ago, he had started up the Tej Kohli Foundation with his partner Wendy Kohli to help bring philanthropic assistance to those in need.
Now, his mission is to bring 3D-printed bionic arms to those who need them. Recently, the Tej Kohli Foundation has begun to fund the printing of 10 bionic arms from Open Bionics, a Bristol-based company who specializes in robotics. Open Bionics has been the leader in the development of bionic limbs that do not cost a fortune to those in need. He also founded the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, which continues to help cure visual impairments of thousands of affected people.
It’s reported by the World Health Organization that around 30 million people around the world are in need of assistance from orthotic and prosthetic devices that can help them live a more normal life. Traditional ways of creating these devices are expensive and prohibitive, yet 3D printing has made these bionic limbs much more affordable.
With his funding, Tej Kohli intends to supply 10 bionic arms to children who are in need in the United Kingdom.
This is the start-up of the Tej Kohli Foundation's ‘Future Bionics’ program. One of the main aspects of Kohli’s funding in this initiative is to bring awareness to other health institutions and investors about the importance of assistive technology, that is not only effective, but affordable as well.
Kohli is a firm believer that assistive technology can drastically improve the lives of those with missing limbs and disabilities. 3D printing has proven to be a very effective way of creating bionic limbs, and Kohli wants investors to be aware of this.
The bionic arm was officially given the name, The Open Bionics Hero Arm. Traditionally, in the U.K, multi-grip bionic hands can cost patients from around £30,000 to £60,000. With 3D printing, this cost goes down significantly, and the Open Bionics Hero Arm now costs about £10,000, if bought through private prosthetics clinics that are located all across the world.
With Kohli’s funding, 10 children in the U.K will receive these arms at no cost to them. Kohli also has invested another £100,000 to fund and launch his ‘Future Bionics’ program.
Open Bionics started up in 2014, created by Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne. Their main mission was to develop affordable pieces of assistive technology that can improve the lives of those with disabilities and impairments.
Teaming up with Tej Kohli has allowed them to bring more awareness to the importance of modern technology in creating effective and affordable bionic limbs.
Find out more at Open Bionics.