Hugh Herr Keynote Speaker

  • Director of Biomechatronics Research Group and co-director of the Center for Extreme Bionics at the MIT Media lab
  • Leading Bionic Limbs Innovator
  • Multiple Award-winning Scientist, Futurist and Innovator including the 13th Annual Heinz Award for Technology

Hugh Herr's Biography

Hugh Herr is the director of the Biomechatronics research group and co-director of the Center for Extreme Bionics at the MIT Media lab, where the revolutionary build of bionic limbs is being created. Herr’s work has been recognised to redefine the world; where technology erases disability.

Herr’s story intertwined with his research well, showcasing the possibilities and accomplishments of combining technology with biology. He is building the next generation of robotic prosthetics that will perform natural human movement. Herr was considered a rock-climbing prodigy. However, whilst attempting to summit Mount Washington in New Hampshire, he was caught in a blizzard. This resulted in severe frostbite which led to the amputation of both his legs below the knees. He walks on bionic legs his lab designed.

Coined “Leader of the Bionic Age” by TIME, Herr connects with his audiences deeply, encouraging them to share and understand his vision of a future where biology and technology can play a revolutionary role. His TED talk in 2014, “The New Bionics that let us run, climb and dance”, ended with a standing ovation with over seven million views. He is the author and co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts that range from computer-controlled artificial knees and active leg exoskeletons to powered ankle-foot prosthesis – several of them have been recognised as TIME Top Ten Inventions.

Other accolades include the 13th Annual Heinz Award for Technology; the Prince Salman Award for Disability Research; the Smithsonian American ingenuity Award in Technology; the 14th Innovator of the Year Award; the 41st Inventor of the Year Award; and the 2016 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research. He has a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering at MIT and his doctorate in biophysics at Harvard University. Herr is also the founder of BionXInc., a company that commercialises the EmPower Ankle-Foot Prosthesis, which is the first in a series of products that will emulate physiological function through electromechanical replacement. The EmPower Ankle-Foot Prosthesis has been clinically shown to be the first leg prosthesis in history to reach human normalisation. As a result of this, amputees are able to walk with normal levels of speed.

Herr’s own experience has been told in a National Geographic film, Ascent: The Story of Hugh Herr, as well as articles and episodes featured on CNN, The Economist, and Discover and Nature.

Read More

Videos of Hugh Herr

TED TALK | The New Bionics that let us run, climb and dance
TED TALK | The New Bionics that let us run, climb and dance

Check Hugh Herr's speaking availability and fees

Interested in booking Hugh Herr to speak at an event? Please provide your details and we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.

    View our related Speakers

    Emily Penn Speaker
    Emily Penn Speaker
    Exclusive
    Emily Penn
    Environmental Campaigner
    Ramesh Srinivasan Speaker
    Ramesh Srinivasan Speaker
    Exclusive
    Ramesh Srinivasan
    Expert on how ethical technology solutions can support innovation and diversity, equity and inclusion.
    Anthony Mazzarelli Speaker
    Exclusive
    Anthony Mazzarelli
    Co-President/CEO of Cooper University Health Care
    DJ Patil Speaker
    Exclusive
    DJ Patil
    U.S. Chief Data Scientist (2015-2017); Chief Data Scientist, LinkedIn (2008-2011)
    Dr. Kathy Sullivan Speaker
    Exclusive
    Dr. Kathy Sullivan
    Astronaut, Explorer & Most Vertical Person in the World
    Kirby Ferguson Speaker
    Exclusive
    Kirby Ferguson
    Viral Film Producer
    Samuel Woolley Speaker
    Exclusive
    Samuel Woolley
    Writer, researcher and speaker who focuses on the study of disinformation, emergent technology and communication
    Camille Fournier Speaker
    Exclusive
    Camille Fournier
    Former Chief Technology Officer, Rent The Runway
    Patricia Gestoso Speaker
    Patricia Gestoso Speaker
    Exclusive
    Patricia Gestoso
    Digital scientific services leader and diversity and inclusion strategy consultant
    Dror Poleg Speaker
    Dror Poleg Speaker
    Exclusive
    Dror Poleg
    Expert on The Future of Work and Cities