Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit direct support organization at the University of Central Florida that increases accessibility and empowers children and adults in the limb difference community, 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 nonprofit that operates the .ORG Family of Domains.
The .ORG Impact Awards, which are in their fourth year, were created to honor and celebrate outstanding mission-driven organizations and individuals working to make the world a better place.
In total, 947 organizations and individuals submitted entries this year from more than 68 countries across 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 groundbreaking work 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 hardworking University of Central Florida staff, faculty and students who are pushing the boundaries for the next generation of bionics. We are grateful for the award and the support as we continue to scale our impact.”
Based at UCF, Limbitless provides hands-on learning experiences for undergraduate students across multiple disciplines to advance its system of bionic devices and training platforms. Using 3D printing and in-house manufacturing, Limbitless develops and advances the bionic arms, reducing the weight and cost compared to traditional devices.
Limbitless Solutions partners with hospitals nationally to conduct clinical trials to evaluate the functionality and the effect of its upper-limb prosthetics on quality of life, how children’s brains develop using prosthetics, and the role of video game-based training for learning more complex bionic controls. The training uniquely leverages video games by converting muscle flexing 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 arms to children at no cost to their families. A recent transition to a larger facility enabled Limbitless to scale production, increase the undergraduate workforce development participation, and develop a new program to include bionic arms for adults.
“We are honored to celebrate the deeply impactful champions for change who have won a 2022 .ORG Impact Award,” said Jon Nevett, president and CEO of Public Interest Registry in a news release. “These inspiring organizations and individuals work incredibly hard to put their mission first, improving the lives of so many, and bringing meaningful change to communities across the globe. We are thrilled to uplift their tireless efforts and to celebrate their dedication to making the world a better place. Each organization is an emblem for what .ORG stands for, and we are humbled by the work of all the .ORGs that submitted for the awards, were named finalists, or are winning an award today. Congratulations, and thank you for being the best of our .ORG Community.”