An award-winning pioneer and Wired Innovation Fellow, Samantha Payne is an inspiring artificial intelligence and robotics entrepreneur. She co-founded Open Bionics in 2014, a robotics startup company that has developed inexpensive personalised ‘superheros’ upper limb prosthetics for children that uses 3D printing.
Samantha specialised in technology and with experience in the digital world, was closely following the entrepreneurial ecosystem until she became a part of it. Now, she is considered one of the world’s 25 leading women in robotics. And thanks to her project, she was listed as one of the Innovators Under 35 Europe 2018 from MIT Technology Review. She is also one of Marie Claire’s Top Women in Tech.
The company has won multiple awards for Engineering and Innovation from Bloomberg, Fast Company and Intel plus two British Engineering Excellence Awards and the James Dyson award for innovative engineering.
Around one in every 1,000 people in the UK is an amputee. Losing a limb through an accident, illness or military action is incredibly traumatic, but rehabilitation can also be a challenge. Currently, if you lose your hand, there are two prosthetics the NHS will most commonly provide, both of which are fairly rudimentary.
The Open Bionics innovation is a particularly significant development for those children born without hands. The team has created a bionic hand light and small enough for those as young as eight – groundbreaking in the prosthetics field. Older children outgrow their prosthetics quickly, often changing them once or twice a year, which makes a low-cost option appealing.
A royalty free agreement between Open Bionics and Disney also means they can choose from bionic hands based on the characters from Iron Man, Frozen and Star Wars. Payne says the feedback they’ve received from parents so far has been particularly rewarding.
When not working with amputees and building a business, Samantha freelances as a journalist with an interest in technology and startups.
Samantha Payne is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most sought-after inspirational keynote speakers, and she’s not yet 30.
In 2018, she was named best speaker by the Financial Times for a talk she gave in Berlin at the World Leaders Forum, then in 2019, she was rated the best speaker at OOP in Germany, the largest software conference in Europe.
She was the “warm up act” for President Barack Obama at Bits & Pretzels in 2019 and has spoken at events such as the Ambrosetti Forum alongside Hilary Clinton and large corporate conferences for JP Morgan, Google, Siemens, Facebook, Accenture, PA consulting and Capgemini. She has also spoken at The White House and for WPP.
Samantha speaks at tech conferences all over the world including OOP conference in Germany (as mentioned above), Geek Picnic Technology Conference in Russia, GoTechWorld in Romania, UKTI Brazil Women in Technology, Smart Nation Singapore, (MiT) France, and USA to name just a few.
Keynote Speaking & Panel Discussions - Blurring Science Fiction & Reality: The Future of Bionics
Samantha Payne presents on robotics, innovation, start-ups, collaborating with Disney, bionics, raising venture capital, user-focused product development, co-design and how to build something that is truly life-changing for the recipient.
A captivating and inspiring speaker, Samantha discussed how she started an industry-leading and game-changing bionics company at the tender age of 23 and without an an engineering degree or any cash, having grown up on a council estate.
The main focus of her emotionally-charged keynote speeches is on the development of technology and how tech enables young amputees to see themselves as their own super heroes. And she talks about her collaborations with Disney and Marvel which have enabled her to accomplish this goal, and it’s a very heart warming story.
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