Kenyan Inventors Revolutionize Prosthetics with Bio-Robotic Arms from Waste Materials

Unlike conventional prosthetics powered by muscular movements, their creation harnesses the power of brain signals, offering a newfound sense of autonomy to disabled individuals in Kenya

In a remarkable tale of innovation and resilience, two young Kenyan inventors, David Gathu and Moses Kiuna, have shattered barriers by designing groundbreaking bio-robotic prosthetic arms from waste materials. 



At the tender age of 29, they embarked on a mission to transform the lives of the physically challenged in their community, turning adversity into opportunity.


For Gathu and Kiuna, the journey was not without its challenges. Hindered by the burden of exorbitant school fees, they were compelled to drop out of college. Yet, they refused to let obstacles extinguish their vision. 


Their determination led them to a modest workshop in Kiambu county, where they embarked on a quest to revolutionize prosthetic technology.



The workshop, a humble shed constructed from worn-out rusted iron sheets adjacent to a chicken coop, served as the birthplace of their innovation. 


Amidst gravel-covered floors and makeshift windows patched with brown tape, the duo toiled tirelessly to bring their vision to life.


Their invention, heralded as the world’s first bio-robotic arm operated by brain signals, marks a paradigm shift in prosthetic technology. 


Unlike conventional prosthetics powered by muscular movements, their creation harnesses the power of brain signals, offering a newfound sense of autonomy to disabled individuals in Kenya.


The pivotal moment of inspiration struck amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with the urgency to aid in sanitization efforts, Gathu and Kiuna conceptualized a machine capable of decontaminating surfaces. Little did they know this endeavor would pave the way for their groundbreaking prosthetic innovation.


Central to their ingenuity was the utilization of waste materials, a testament to their commitment to environmental sustainability. 


Salvaging discarded items such as plastic, rubber, and old computer components, they breathed new life into what others deemed as junk. In doing so, they not only cleansed the environment but also empowered a community of individuals living with disabilities.


Their invention represents a beacon of hope for the physically challenged, offering a myriad of functionalities aimed at enhancing their daily lives. From assisting with tasks to fostering self-reliance, the bio-robotic arm embodies the spirit of inclusivity and empowerment.


However, the journey towards perfection has not been devoid of challenges. Hindered by financial constraints, Gathu and Kiuna continue to navigate the arduous path of innovation with unwavering determination. Despite the hurdles, they remain resolute in their mission to uplift their community.


David Mathenge, representing the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK), lauds their invention as the future of prosthetic science.


He emphasizes the transformative impact of such innovations in alleviating the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.

As Gathu aptly puts it, “We don’t want these people to feel like they can’t do anything; we want them to be dependent on themselves.” 


Their tireless efforts exemplify the power of resilience and ingenuity in effecting positive change.


In a world plagued by adversity, Gathu and Kiuna stand as shining examples of innovation born from necessity. Their journey serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit, reminding us that from the ashes of hardship, greatness can emerge.


Their names will be etched in the annals of history as pioneers of progress, whose legacy transcends borders and inspires generations to come.


This article was created using automation and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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