The head of Skolkovo resident startup Motorica, which makes hi-tech prostheses, has been awarded the Made in Russia prize for science and technology organised by Snob magazine.

Motorica director Ilya Chekh pictured at the Skolkovo innovation centre earlier this week. Photo:

Ilya Chekh received the award Wednesday at an awards ceremony co-presented by socialite Ksenia Sobchak held at Moscow’s Hotel Metropol.

Accepting the award, Chekh said he had voted online for one of his competitors in the science and technology category of the awards.

“Before the voting closed, I voted for Igor Mitrofanov and his DAN [dynamic albedo of neutrons] for the Mars rover Curiosity, since my dream is to open a head office on Mars,” he was cited as saying on the Snob website. The DAN developed by Mitrofanov of Russia’s Space Research Institute is used to detect the presence of water, ice or hydrogen on Mars.

Motorica, a resident company of the Skolkovo Foundation’s biomed cluster, specialises in brightly coloured body-powered prosthetic hands for children. The company uses 3D-printed parts, which are resilient and make the prostheses fast to produce, and adds extra gadgets into the arms such as MP3 players and video cameras to turn the wearers into “superheroes.”

About 400 children across Russia now have Motorica prostheses, which are available free of charge under the Russian health system. The company is currently working on its first myoelectric prosthesis for adults, the Stradivary, which responds to the electrical impulses sent from the brain to the wearer’s remaining muscle tissue.

The company will demonstrate the Stradivary in Zurich next week at the world’s first Cybathlon, an event for people who use technology to overcome their disabilities. Earlier this year, Motorica organised a Russian cybathlon with the aim of establishing a community of Russia’s prosthesis users. 

Other winners at the Made in Russia awards included journalist Anton Krasovsky, director of the AIDS Centre, in the social projects category, and actress Anna Chipovskaya in the acting category.