Meet The Team


Redefining what’s possible, giving people the tools to shape their own destiny. It is undisputed that technology is empowering people to do more and to enjoy a higher quality of life. At Touch Prosthetics, we believe in making today’s technology accessible to those who need it most. We strive to design low-cost, user-friendly products that keep the amputee’s at the heart of everything we do.

Drew van der Riet

The Inventor (Co-Founder)

Drew is the inventor of the original touch hand. Drew has always been inspired to help people reach their full potential, and what better way than combining his creative thinking and skill in robotics to do it. Touch Prosthetics was born during his MSc at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2013. Drew has a passion for travelling the world and is currently working in Orlando Florida, while passing the baton of touch prosthetics to Professor Riaan Stopforth. MSc Mechatronics (2013), BEng Mechatronics (2011).


Prof Riaan Stopforth


Riaan is a Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research interests include Search and Rescue Robotics and Bio-Engineering Systems. Riaan’s hobby interests include electronics, radio communication, network security and brainstorming for innovative ideas and concepts. He is involved with multi-discipline research, and has been coordinating the Touch Prosthetics research. PhD Eng Mechatronics & Robotics (2010), MSc Computer Science (2007) and BSc Electronic Engineering (2006).


Prof Theo van Niekerk


Theo has been a Professor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Since 1990. BSc Electrical & Electronic Engineering (1988). DTech Electrical Engineering; Experiences in Advanced Mechatronics Systems, industrial robotics and industrial systems such as Siemens PLCs. 

Karl du Preez

Linking Academia/Industry

Karl is now a Principal lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, after starting his career with the university in 1992, co-ordinating all projects in the Advanced Mechatronics Technology Center (AMTC). MTech Mechanical Engineering.

Kiran Setty

Developer of Touch Hand 4

Kiran is a Past Post Grad Student from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. MEng Mechatronics – Cum Laude and top post grad students in Mechatronics Engineering (2018), BSc Mechanical Engineering (2016). He has worked on many mechatronics and robotic systems.

Kyla Purdon

Electronics /Software Development

Kyla is responsible for developing the electronics and software control of the Touch Hand, to allow for EMG control. MEng Mechatronics Student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. BEng Mechatronics (2018).

Previous Contributors

Greg Jones

Developer Touch Hand 2

Andrew Mangezi

Designer Touch Hand 3

Riaan Fourie

Designer Touch Hand 3

Volunteer Testers

John Harris

Touch Hand 1 & 2

Darren Hauptfleisch

Touch Hand 3 & 4