Limbitless Solutions, a direct support nonprofit at the University of Central Florida that increases accessibility and empowers children and adults in the community with limb differences, has won the Global 2022.ORG Impact Award in the Health and Healing Nonprofit category .
The selection was announced Tuesday by the Public Interest Registry, the non-profit organization that manages the .ORG Family of Domains.
Entering its fourth year, the .ORG Impact Awards were created to honor and celebrate outstanding mission-driven organizations and individuals working to make the world a better place.
A total of 947 organizations and individuals submitted entries this year from more than 68 countries in seven award categories, including community building, environmental stewardship, health and healing and more.
As the winner of the Health and Healing category, Limbitless Solutions will receive a $10,000 donation to support their pioneering work by creating and donating personalized 3D-printed prosthetic arms to veterans, first responders and young children, and more.
“Our team at Limbitless Solutions is honored to receive this global recognition from the .ORG Impact Awards,” says Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD, Limbitless Solutions president and co-founder. “This award is a true testament to our hard-working staff, faculty and students at the University of Central Florida pushing the boundaries for the next generation of bionics. We are grateful for the award and the support as we continue to increase our impact.”
Based at UCF, Limbitless provides hands-on learning experiences for undergraduate students across multiple disciplines to advance the system of bionic devices and training platforms. Using 3D printing and in-house manufacturing, Limbitless develops and improves the bionic arms, reducing weight and cost compared to traditional devices.
Limbitless Solutions is collaborating with hospitals nationally to conduct clinical trials to evaluate the functionality and effect of upper limb prostheses on quality of life, how children’s brains develop with the use of prostheses, and the role of video game-based training in learning more complex bionic controls. The workout uniquely uses video games by translating muscle flexes into the character’s actions and is led by UCF faculty members Matt Dombrowski ’05 ’08MFA with UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design and Peter Smith ’05MS ’12PhD with UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media.
Participants also personalize their bionic arm by customizing interchangeable magnetic “sleeves” as tools for their personal expression. Powered by philanthropy and corporate partnerships, Limbitless provides these weapons to children at no cost to their families. A recent move to a larger facility enabled Limbitless to scale production, increase undergraduate participation in the development workforce, and develop a new program with adult bionic arms.
“We are honored to celebrate the highly impactful champions for change who won a 2022 .ORG Impact Award,” said Jon Nevett, president and CEO of Public Interest Registry in a press release. “These inspiring organizations and individuals work incredibly hard to put their mission first, to improve the lives of so many and create meaningful change in communities around the world. We are excited to support their tireless efforts and celebrate their commitment to making the world a better place. Every organization is an emblem of what .ORG stands for, and we are humbled by the work of all .ORGs who have applied for the awards, been named finalists, or won an award today. Congratulations and thank you for being the best of our .ORG community.”