DLD13 Liveblog: Extreme bionics

Extreme bionics

More-arrow-orange-left Back
Messner

Extreme Bionics is a research agenda to eliminate disability in this century, extending human physicality, cognition and creativity beyond what nature intended.

Hugh Herr is a professor at the MIT, biomechatronic laboratory. His primary research objective is to apply principles of biomechanics and neural control to guide the designs of wearable robotic systems for human rehabilitation and physical augmentation.

After an accident he looses his legs but still wanted to climb - extreme situation for a disabled person. Nature is driving design and design is driving nature - Hugh Herr thought about bionics and how electromechanics can help to emulate human functions.

"My brain don't need a user manual to use my hand!"

Experiments and a huge amount of money makes it now possible for him to climb again. His legs work like normal legs and his walking looks naturally. He is like the "6 Million Dollar Man"!

"People are not disabled and broken but our technologies are disabled and broken"

Bionics 3

Hugh Herr is happy not just loosing his toes like Reinhold Messner

Who else could be better for a discussion with Hugh Herr as Reinhold Messner? The climber lost his toes at the age of 25. "Ok, to change limbs, but changing brains is messing with evolution, is that bad?" - Reinhold Messner A profound question about how science affects the instinctive animal part of the brain. Hugh Herr on messing with evolution: "Why not, let's speed it up, we can prevent so much suffering" - a point of view not everyone will be agree with.

Tweet from @phe: No toes meet no feet. Experience meet science. Reinhold Messner meet Hugh Herr. Both are Climbers.