Joel Gibbard

Joel Gibbard

Inventor, roboticist, engineer, and entrepreneur
UI/UX Design • General Engineer
Bristol, UK
  • Design
  • Robotics
  • Electronics
  • Engineering
  • Software Engineering
Open Bionics

cofounder @Open Bionics • Co-Founder

A multi-award-winning robotics company creating affordable bionic hands.

Amazing things Joel's made
When I was 20, I built a self-balancing scooter in the style of a Segway ( This was an extremely fun project tackling the common "inverse pendulum" problem in robotics. Some of the challenges included sourcing cheap components (second hand wheelchair motors) and dealing with the high current power requirements of the motors. I found some suitably sized bike wheels and welded a frame together from steel. A chain drive was the easiest solution for driving the wheels and this included custom made mounts to connect the sprockets to the motor output shafts. The device had to be well-balanced but contained within a small form-factor and had a small screen to display various "rider metrics" including the speed and angle of the scooter.

I'm proud of founding The Open Hand Project ( & sharing my experience with TEDx (

Cody Simms Partner at Techstars recommended Open Bionics where Joel is Co-Founder

The Open Bionics team are wonderfully gifted and innovative. They've done so incredibly much for such a small team, and it's because every single person working at the company knows that what they are doing directly changes people's lives. Joel is ultra-talented and is a world-class problem solver, and Sammy is a strong cross-functional leader -- together they make an awesome founding team. I've had the privilege of working with the company since mid-2015 when we invested in them via Disney Accelerator powered by Techstars, and I strongly endorse them as a team and company that is going to change the world....they already are doing so now.

Jill Burnett recommended Open Bionics where Joel is Co-Founder

I'm the innovation manager at Bristol Robotics Laboratory and I run the BRL Technology Business Incubator. Its been great to see Open Bionics business develop from one (Joel) to many and their technology becoming increasingly capable and attractive. They are brilliant to work with - aspirational, communicate exceptionally well and do everything they say and more.