Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Associate Professor, Media Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor, MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology
Director of the Biomechatronics Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hugh Herr is pioneering new research directions for a new class of biohybrid, "smart" prostheses; these devices are accelerating the merging of body and machine, improving the lives of amputees and other physically challenged individuals, and amplifying the endurance and strength of everyone. Herr has employed cross-bridge models of skeletal muscle to the design and optimization of a new class of human-powered mechanisms that amplify endurance for cyclic anaerobic activities. He has also built elastic shoes that increase aerobic endurance in walking and running. In the field of human rehabilitation, Herr's group has developed gait adaptive knee prostheses for transfemoral amputees and variable impedance ankle-foot orthoses for patients suffering from drop foot, a gait pathology caused by stroke, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. Herr received his BA in physics from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biophysics from Harvard University. Prior to coming to the Media Lab, Herr was assistant professor at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School.