“This is just awesome, I would buy it today if I could. But I can’t. Nothing like this exists out there… it really should” – Alex Lewis on our crappy university prototype in 2017. Words that gave us the inspiration to found Koalaa– our company to get accessible prosthetic limbs around the world.

When we first got into prosthetics, as university students I’d be lying if I said it was for noble intentions. I envisioned state of the art sensors and electronics, with mind blowing 3d printed mechanisms. We wanted to build prosthetic limbs because we thought they were cool. Nothing more.

That changed the second we met Alex.

To say it was humbling would be an understatement. He honestly and openly talked about how the industry is saturated with “state-of-the art” technology. With designers rarely stopping to talk to the people who will actually use them. As a result you get bionics that cost too much, look great, but don’t do what people want. As a young engineer this was transformative to hear. Talk to users first, and do things simply. Simplicity breeds reliability and practicality. A philosophy we’ve taken to heart as we continue to design and build prosthetics.

Alex patiently and expertly helped us as we prototyped and designed prosthetic after prosthetic, testing each and every one for us, offering his incisive input. And still does to this day!

Now we are on the cusp of commercially selling accessible prosthetic arms that can be sent around the world for a fraction of the cost of anything else on the market. And I consider Alex’s ongoing support a cornerstone of what we have achieved.

His sharp mind, his generosity, and openness have guided us as we build our fledgling company. Thank you Alex!