In science fiction, cyborgs—part human, part machine—have long fascinated our imaginations as beings of the future. However, for many individuals across the globe who have lost limbs due to accidents or amputations, bionic limbs are not a fantasy but a necessity.
The idea of having robotic limbs is becoming affordable, thanks to innovators like Joy Barua from Chittagong, Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh, where artificial limbs were once imported and very expensive, Joy Barua has taken the initiative to craft bionic hands locally, changing the lives of amputees.
His creations are more than just mechanical marvels; they are designed to look and function as closely to human hands as possible. Joy's remarkable journey began when he realized the need for affordable and accessible prosthetic solutions.
With an educational background in electronics from the National Institute of Technology, Chittagong, Joy's fascination with robots led him to participate in various national and international competitions, where he received recognition and awards.
Inspiration struck Joy when he witnessed a man who had lost his hand due to an electrical accident concealing his amputation. This encounter fueled his determination to create affordable robotic arms, and he began his work in 2020.
In recognition of his innovative efforts, the Information and Technology Department of the government awarded Joy Barua Tk 2 lakh.
The impact of Joy Barua's work has already reached six individuals in Bangladesh, all of whom have expressed their satisfaction with the artificial hands. What sets these creations apart is their remarkable likeness to real hands, achieved by encasing the robotic arm in silicone gloves that closely resemble human skin.
Joy Barua's commitment to affordability is evident in the cost of his prosthetic hands, which ranges from 30,000 to 100,000 Bangladeshi taka. In contrast, imported prosthetic hands can cost between 500,000 and 800,000 taka, making his invention a lifeline for those who could not otherwise afford such life-changing technology.
Joy's creations are not limited to Bangladesh alone. Neighbouring countries like Nepal and India have also shown interest in his robotic limbs.
To continue and expand his mission, Joy has established an organization called 'Robolife Technology', with plans to produce more advanced robotic hands at even lower costs with the support of sponsors.
Joy's pioneering work addresses a pressing need in Bangladesh, where approximately 46% of the country's 2.14 million differently-abled individuals are physically handicapped, according to a 2013 survey. His dedication to affordability ensures that more people can access these life-changing prosthetic hands.
Joy Barua's innovation offers hope and opportunity to those in need in a world where traditional prosthetic limbs can cost a fortune. His determination to make advanced technology accessible reflects a commitment to improving the lives of people who have faced physical challenges, giving them a chance to regain their independence and lead fuller lives.
As Bangladesh's sole homegrown manufacturer of bionic prosthetics, Joy Barua's work can transform the rehabilitation landscape and redefine possibilities for differently-abled individuals, one robotic hand at a time.