Dima Gazda, co-founder and CEO of Esper Bionics – Interview Series

Dima Gazda is the co-founder and CEO of AI startup Esper Bionics, a team that aims to unleash human capabilities by creating technologies that can eradicate disease, give humans extra abilities, and ultimately account, satisfy and extend the lives of billions of people around the world. .

What first attracted you to the medical field?

Frankly, becoming a doctor was not a conscious choice. At 17, I didn’t know where to go or what to do next. I grew up in a family of doctors, which meant the medical field was a bit more familiar than other fields. That’s how I chose it. But it wasn’t until my second year that I made the conscious choice to spend all my time studying medicine.

In the end, I stayed in medical school because it’s the best school of life and death, where you touch people’s lives and destinies, and where you make faced with difficult choices and challenges. If you add science to this mix, you have very interesting and fulfilling years.

You started thinking about prostheses after participating in a surgery in Finland. Could you share this moment and why it was so crucial?

Let me give you some context.

At Esper Bionics, we see prosthetics as the gateway to augmenting humanity and helping to make the lives of billions of people longer and more fulfilling. When we were researching human augmentation technologies in 2017, Facebook suddenly suggested befriending an amputee girl I first met in 2006. She lost her hand in a car accident. car. Although she was originally from Ukraine – just like me – we met in Finland. Seeing her again on Facebook eleven years later made me think of the prosthesis and directed our research towards this field.

How did you then transition to the launch of Esper Bionics?

As I mentioned earlier, our research led us to the prosthetics industry. We saw this field as the cradle of the technology stack needed to introduce the most important technology of the coming decades: electronic implants. Electronic implants require large portable devices for charging and data transfer, and prostheses are ideal for this.

With this in mind, I co-founded Esper in 2019. At that time, I was already a serial entrepreneur with three international companies under my belt.

Can you tell us what Esper Hand is?

Sure. Ranked among The best inventions of TIME 2022our esper hand is a self-learning AI-powered robotic hand and an important part of our data-driven bionics ecosystem, the first ecosystem of its kind on the market. The prosthesis is designed to be controlled like a biological human hand. We can customize its functionality to the needs and lifestyle of a particular user. This is where we use machine learning algorithms. They “learn” the behavior of the user, predict his desired movements and allow you to change your grip intuitively.

The hand is among the lightest bionic hands, is waterproof and has a modular design. It is also three times faster to control than similar prostheses. I’m proud to share that the Esper Hand has been praised for its beautiful minimalist anatomical design. He won the The best of the best 2022 Award from Red Dot, one of the largest design competitions in the world, and has become a finalist at Fast Company’s 2022 Innovation by Design Awards.

Esper Control is another breakthrough technology under development. Could you describe what it is and how it works?

Esper Control is a brain-computer interface based on non-invasive electromyography. It is essentially a system of non-invasive muscle sensors that detect muscle activation inside the user’s hand and send a signal to the robotic prosthesis to move in a particular way. .

What are the advantages of this brain-machine interface approach compared to a Neuralink type approach?

In our case, you don’t need to insert any device into your brain, even under your skin.

What are some of the ways machine learning is used with Esper’s products?

We use machine learning algorithms primarily as part of our cloud-based Esper platform. The platform continuously collects data from all Esper Control sensors to analyze how each wearer uses the robotic prosthesis. It regularly updates the hand control algorithms so that the next time in a similar situation, the user’s favorite grip will have a higher priority. In other words, thanks to Esper Platform machine learning algorithms, the hand “learns” and adapts to the behavior of the user and moves more and more intuitively.

Could you share the company’s vision behind creating the world’s largest connected community of large wearable device users?

Sure. But let me take a step back to give you more context.

Esper Bionics was founded in 2019 with a clear vision that the electronics inside the human body, namely electronic implants, will become the most important technology of the future. This technology will give humans additional abilities, eliminate many diseases, and help billions of people live longer, more fulfilling lives in a diverse world.

As founders, we believe that many types of implants will emerge in the large wearable device community as they are excellent chargers, data receivers and processors for electronic implants.

That’s why we’re building the world’s largest connected community of great wearable device users. Since the prosthetic industry is at the heart of this community, we start by upgrading it. By introducing self-learning multifunctional assistive devices of an entirely new architecture based on the use of AI and data, we can improve the lives of millions of people in the near future and unlock technologies for help billions of people later.

Is there anything else you would like to share about Esper Bionics?

Yes, I would like to point out that we have created something much bigger than a multi-functional AI-powered prosthetic hand.

We built the first data-driven bionic ecosystem which currently consists of a software-powered robotic hand prosthesis, a cloud-based platform that uses machine learning algorithms to enhance and personalize prosthesis control, and a non-invasive system muscle action sensors that translate signals from the user’s brain into the movements of the robotic hand.

We will continue to expand our product line to improve the lives of even more amputees, create the largest community of users of large wearable devices, and ultimately help billions of people by introducing implants. electronics.

Thanks for this great interview, readers who want to know more should visit Esper Bionics.

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