Obi takes home top honors in Medical Design Excellence Awards

June 26, 2018

DESĪN, LLC today announced that Obi Robot has been selected as the Gold Winner in the Rehabilitation and Assistive-Technology Products Category of the 20th Annual Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) competition.

The 2018 winning products were announced at the MDEA Ceremony held Tuesday, June 12, 2018 in conjunction with MD&M East at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.

Obi is a robotic device that restores a more independent, relaxed, and social dining experience for individuals that lack upper extremity function. This lifestyle transformation is created through applied manipulator technology at a scale, price, and level of usability that has never before existed in assistive technology. Obi is designed, developed, and manufactured in Dayton, Ohio by DESĪN, LLC.

The MDEAs are the medical technology industry’s premier design competition committed to searching for the world’s highest caliber finished medical devices, products, systems, or packaging available on the market. The awards program celebrates the achievements of the medical device manufacturers, their suppliers, and the many people behind the scenes—engineers, scientists, designers, and clinicians—who are responsible for the cutting edge products that are saving lives; improving patient healthcare; and transforming MedTech—one innovation at a time.

“Winning this award has been a decade-long held dream – we are incredibly honored, and I’m incredibly proud of the team, which includes our contractors and suppliers.” said Jon Dekar, DESĪN’s Founder, CEO and the inventor of Obi. “We consider this award a testament to the progress we’re making on our journey. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and a basic human need. People without use of their arms should have access to an awesome technology to help them eat. Until Obi, this wasn’t the case. It’s great to be recognized for this contribution.”

The 2018 MDEA Juror Panel selected 42 exceptional finalists in nine medical technology product categories. Products were judged based on design and engineering innovation; function and user-related innovation; patient benefits; business benefits; and overall benefit to the healthcare system. Unlike other design competitions that are merely styling contests, the MDEA jury is comprised of a balance of practicing doctors, nurses, and technicians alongside industrial designers, engineers, manufacturers, and human factors experts.

Additional information about Obi can be found online at