Spirit Of Da Vinci Award Goes To MIT Bio-Mechantron Professor - Amputee Designing The Next Generation Of Prostheses
Professor Hugh Herr lost both legs below the knee at age 17 in a climbing accident and went on to develop an interest in the invention of "smart" prostheses for the disabled. Today Herr is the director of The Biomechatronics Research Group in the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on technologies that promise to merge body and machine, including designs that resemble the body's muscle and skeleton.
``We build artificial limbs, robotic limbs that wrap around impaired ones, and we think about technology that augments healthy limbs, making them more efficient," says Herr. ``An amputee can think, contract muscles, and directly control the artificial leg. It's a blend between the body and a synthetic device," he continues.
Prof. Herr's research accomplishments in science and technology have already made a significant impact in the marketplace. A Variable-Damper Knee Prosthesis called the Rheo has recently been commercialized by former da Vinci Awardee, Ossur Inc., and is now benefiting amputees throughout the world. Prof. Herr has also developed the world's first powered ankle-foot prosthesis the actually propels the amputee forward with each step, emulating the strength and power of an intact human ankle. In addition, an Active Ankle-Foot Orthosis is nearing commercialization, and has the potential for improving the quality of life of millions of stroke patients within the U.S. alone.
Herr's work has been seen in various national and international media, including Scientific American Frontiers, Technology Review, National Geographic, and the History Channel.
The 2008 da Vinci Awards®, presented by the UAW-GM, will be held Saturday, September 20 at The Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, Mich. The gala event (black tie optional) features a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, entertainment, awards program and an afterglow with the da Vinci Awardees. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and information visit: http://www.davinciawards.org.
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn't. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS. In 2007 alone, through our home office and 50 state network of chap¬ters, we devoted nearly $136 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested more than $50 million to support 440 research projects around the world. We are people who want to do something about MS NOW. Join the movement at http://www.nationalMSsociety.org.
National MS Society
There are no references listed for this article.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Society, National MS. "Spirit Of Da Vinci Award Goes To MIT Bio-Mechantron Professor - Amputee Designing The Next Generation Of Prostheses." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 12 Sep. 2008. Web.
24 May. 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/121158.php>
Society, N. (2008, September 12). "Spirit Of Da Vinci Award Goes To MIT Bio-Mechantron Professor - Amputee Designing The Next Generation Of Prostheses." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.