Hugh Herr

Leader of the Bionic Age; Champion for Creating Technology to Improve the Human Body and Redefine Human Potential

Speaker Fee Range: Please inquire for fees

Travels From: Boston, USA

Hugh Herr is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

Technology Speaker Hugh Herr
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    Hugh Herr

    Leader of the Bionic Age; Champion for Creating Technology to Improve the Human Body and Redefine Human Potential

    Speaker Fee Range: Please inquire for fees

    Travels From: Boston, USA

    Hugh Herr is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

    Hugh Herr Speaker Biography

    Motivational speaker 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 thirteen 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.

    As a popular motivational speaker, Hugh Herr is often booked to speak at the most prestigious events and conferences all over the world to talk on technology, robotics, the future of humanity and to tell his incredible story.

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    Hugh Herr Keynote Topics

    Society is at the threshold of a new age when machines will no longer be separate, lifeless mechanisms, but will instead be intimate extensions of the human body. Such a merging of body and machine will not only improve the quality of life for disabled people, but will allow persons with normal physiologies to experience augmented capabilities – cognitively, emotionally and physically. There soon will be a world where technology will merge with our bodies to forever change our concept of human capability. Hugh Herr features research work from MIT’s Center for Extreme Bionics that is blurring the distinction between “able-bodied” and “disabled,” demonstrating technologies at the neural-digital interface. These new research initiatives are capable of addressing a plethora of conditions currently at clinical impasses, from optogenetic approaches to treat blindness to the development of smart prostheses that can emulate – and even exceed the capabilities of biological limbs. Herr believes that through an ever-increasing technological sophistication, human disability will largely be eliminated in this 21st century, setting the stage for innovations that will ultimately benefit all humanity.

    Hugh Herr Speaking Videos

    Hugh Herr - How we'll become cyborgs and extend human potential
    Hugh Herr - New bionics let us run, climb and dance