Guillaume Baniel, 33, is the founder and CEO of Revival Bionics, a company that designs and manufactures an active walking assistance device, specifically a robotic human foot, for amputees. The aim of this device is to improve mobility and comfort for patients, so that every step becomes easy again.
Revival Bionics derived from the personal story of Guillaume Baniel, who, after completing a DUT in Mechanical and Production Engineering at the IUT in Amiens, went on to study Mechanical Systems Engineering at UTC.
In 2014, he began his career at Thales as an electromechanical engineer. He was an electromechanical product engineer and was in charge of the on-board generators installed on board the Mirage 2000. «In 2018, paralysed, I found myself wearing an orthosis on a daily basis. I was surprised by the non-propulsive nature of my orthosis, a carbon second skin that does not fully compensate for my disability. This experience prompted me to undertake in-depth research into prostheses and active orthoses,» confides Guillaume Baniel. After a year’s re-education and a great deal of research, he came up with his first concept for a bionic foot. Encouraged by the INPI (France’s national intellectual property agency), he joined the BioStart programme in mid-2020 at the Eurasanté incubator in Lille.
He then decided to put his dual skills in project management and technical engineering to good use. From there, in 2021, he founded his own start-up: Revival Bionics, whose main objective is to develop technological solutions that fully compensate for disability. «I then asked Nathan Girard, who was just as passionate as I was and an engineer who had recently graduated from UTC, to join me in this adventure. A year later, Revival Bionics has a bionic foot demonstrator and is now one of the few companies in the world to have done so”.
DNA with both technological and human aspects
In 2022, Revival Bionics distinguished itself by winning the first Grand Prix I‑Lab, a national business start-up competition. «This prize confirms our start-up’s remarkable contribution to innovation in biomechanics and our commitment to disability compensation. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve got a taste for understanding the very fine details involved in setting up a tech company that is halfway between a technological feat and a human exploit. I can’t wait to test my hypotheses with a bigger team,» says Guillaume Baniel.
The future looks bright for the company, with a number of strategic projects in the pipeline. «We are actively working on the development of the second version of our device and, more broadly, on key mechatronic building blocks, a crucial stage if we are to be able to offer patients a robotic foot and technologies that fully compensate for their disability. Indeed, the company’s vocation is to bridge the gap between passive devices such as orthoses and conventional prostheses, which fail to restore a gait equivalent to that of an able-bodied person. So Revival Bionics’ DNA is based on technological innovation, improving the quality of life of disabled people, and a commitment to research and development in the field of biomechatronics.