Kinova - 2016 Governor General's Innovation Awards Winner

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.

Charles Deguire, CEO and co-founder of Kinova

Charles Deguire is the CEO and co-founder of Kinova, a company he launched while earning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Montréal’s École de technologie supérieure.

Kinova designs and manufactures simple and safe robotics platforms and components for a broad range of applications. Co-founded by Charles Deguire, the company helps people push beyond their physical limitations and offers a more efficient and safer work environment in industrial settings. Kinova’s sleek, energy-efficient robotic arms are lightweight, quiet, unobtrusive and weather-resistant. Since its launch in 2010, the JACO arm has offered more autonomy, control and range of motion—as well as improved mental well-being—to Canadians with upper-body mobility restrictions. He is the visionary who propelled Kinova to the height of the modern robotics revolution. Thanks to his efforts, the JACO robotic arm is greatly improving the quality of life of individuals with reduced mobility in a way that no other technology has to date. Today, Mr. Deguire is steering Kinova into service robotics to allow industry leaders to explore how robotic arm technology can be applied in a wide range of fields.

On May 18, 2016, Mr. Deguire was one of the first six individuals to receive the inaugural Governor General’s Innovation Awards.

Announced in June 2015, the Governor General’s Innovation Awards inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and to emulate innovative, entrepreneurial risk-takers who have developed new or better ways of creating value and who are having a meaningful impact on our quality of life. For more information, visit

Co-founded by Charles Deguire, Kinova helps people push beyond their physical limitations and offers a more efficient and safer work environment in industrial settings. Watch this video to find out how the JACO arm offers autonomy, control and range of motion to Canadians with upper-body mobility restrictions – as well as improved mental well-being.

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Governor General's Innovation Awards

Innovation is one of the primary driving forces behind Canada’s prosperity, standard of living and quality of life. While Canadians are some of the world’s most accomplished innovators, we seldom recognize ourselves as such or celebrate our outstanding contributions to our society.