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Re-Inventing The World Of Prosthetic Technology

Hugh Herr is the director of the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab. His technology is rapidly advancing the world of prosthetics. (Simon Bruty)

Hugh Herr is the director of the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab. His technology is rapidly advancing the world of prosthetics (Simon Bruty)

Earlier this week, we heard from one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings: Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a professional ballroom dancer. She told WBUR’s Robin Young — calmly and in a matter-of-fact kind of way — about the moment that changed her life forever.

 “I remember telling a lot of doctors that, uh, I was a ballroom dancer and that it was, um, extremely important that I kept my foot; that I could still feel every toe and move every toe. Uh…I woke up and…I didn’t have a foot anymore. I didn’t have a left foot anymore.”

Adrianne Haslet-Davis is one of 14 people who lost a foot or a leg or both legs in last week’s bombing. While recovery will not be easy for many of them, the advances in prosthetic limbs can offer them a lot of hope and help.

Nobody knows that better than Dr. Hugh Herr, director of the Biomechatronics group at The MIT Media Lab. Herr lost both of his legs when he suffered extreme frost bite during a climbing expedition in the White Mountains. Since then, Herr has dedicated his life’s work to re-inventing the world of prosthetic technology.

Guests

 Hugh HerrAssociate Professor in the Media Arts and Sciences and Health Sciences and Technology programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the director of the Biomechatronics group at The MIT Media Lab.

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WBUR  “I’ll make the following claim: If a person has lost a leg in this Boston attack — if they’re motivated and generally healthy and reasonably athletic — they could, given current technology, they could walk or run across the finish line at the Boston Marathon this time next year.”

TEDMED Talk 2010 


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