A fascinating story of courage, dedication, skill, and genius. Hugh Herr is an inspirational guy…and we, at General Catalyst, are so proud to be a part of his journey.
A Step Beyond Human
Forbes Magazine dated December 14, 2009
MIT professor and double amputee Hugh Herr is building the world’s most advanced prosthetic foot.
On his way to a lunch meeting a few years ago Hugh Herr was running late. So he parked his Honda Accord in a handicapped parking spot, sprang out of the car and jogged down the sidewalk. Within seconds a policeman called out, asking to see his disability permit. When Herr pointed it out on his dashboard, the cop eyed him suspiciously. “What’s your affliction?” he asked dryly. Herr, a slim and unassuming 6-footer with dark, neatly parted hair, took a step toward the officer and responded in an even tone: “I have no [expletive] legs.”
Blurring the boundaries of disability is a trick that Herr, director of the biomechatronics group at MIT’s Media Lab, has spent the last 27 years perfecting. At age 17 both of Herr’s legs were amputated 6 inches below the knee after a rock climbing trip ended in severe frostbite. Today he’s one of the world’s preeminent prosthetics experts. His goal: to build artificial limbs that are superior to natural ones. His favorite test subject: himself. “I like to say that there are no disabled people,” says Herr, 45. “Only disabled technology.”
Read more at the link below.