A FATHER from Anglesey who created a prosthetic arm for his son has been nominated for a special national award in recognition of his invention.

Ben Ryan of Menai Bridge has been chosen as one of the 10 finalists for innovation foundation Nesta's Inventor Prize.

The competition, launched in August 2017, aims to find the best new invention that could help transform lives of people living in the UK.

Supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the competition will see the ten shortlisted entries, receive £5,000 each to develop their idea and mentoring from Barclays Eagle Labs, who are providing access to facilities and equipment.

The overall winner, announced in September 2018, will receive a £50,000 prize to help get their product to market.

41-year-old Ben, was inspired to come up with his invention after his son Sol had to have his arm amputated at just 10 days old.

As a result, the former Psychology teacher invented a hydraulically-operated digital prosthetic arm suitable to train children three years old and under.

This invention is part of a wider programme that Ben is pioneering so that very young infants can accept more complex prosthetics later on and avoid becoming one of the 60% of under threes who reject prosthetics altogether.

Using 3D printing and CAD software from Autodesk, the Ambionics project was born in Ben's spare room and he is now currently trialling remote 3D scanning with families in Australia, North and South America, Europe and Africa. Ambionics will be moving to Menai Science Park in March.

“At the start of this journey, I knew nothing about prosthetics or engineering." Ben explained.

"I started out by making a sponge arm for Sol when he was five weeks old.

"This allowed him to understand the length, reach and feel that his future arms would have and also encouraged hand eye coordination and helped him to support himself when learning to sit up.

"I added Velcro to the end of the sponge and to some of his toys, so Sol understood he could use the sponge arm to reach and pick up items around him.

"Then I taught myself how to use computer design software and began making digital prosthetics and testing hydraulic systems to control the grip.

"I’m really looking forward to working with Barclays Eagle Labs to refine the design for low volume manufacturing and certification.”

All finalists in the competition will use their £5000 award and bespoke support from Barclays Eagle Labs, to further develop their product and understand their market before judge’s make their decision on a winner.