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The Real Bionic Man Hugh Herr to lecture at UVU on “The New Era of Extreme Bionics”

Mar 02, 2018 08:20AM

By Scott Trotter

Hugh Herr, professor and director of Biomechatronics Research Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and whom some refer to as the real “Bionic Man,” will lecture at Utah Valley University as part of the University’s Presidential Lecture Series on March 7 at 1 p.m. in the Classroom Building Lecture Hall (101B).

As a young, aspiring, rock-climbing prodigy, Dr. Herr lost both legs in a winter-related accident on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Devastated by the amputations and the death of one of his rescuers, Dr. Herr dedicated his life to developing bionic limbs for amputees and augmenting human capability through bionics.

To everyone’s astonishment, he began climbing at a higher level after his legs were amputated because of the bionic technology he pioneered. “The artificial part of my body is beyond immortal,” said Herr. “It’s improving with time.”

He told an NPR reporter: “I’m titanium, carbon, silicon and a bunch of nuts and bolts. My limbs that I wear have 12 computers, five sensors and muscle-like actuator systems that enable me to move throughout my day.”

 “The Presidential Lecture Series enriches the educational opportunities on our campus and has ignited further investigation of issues relevant for our university community,” says Frederick White, associate vice president – engaged learning. “Hugh Herr’s contribution to biomechanics and his own life-story are certain to draw a diverse audience of faculty, students and community members, interested in scientific innovation and Herr’s personal triumph over adversity.”

 UVU offers both associates and bachelor of science degrees in Mechatronics Engineering Technology which includes aspects from Mechanical and Electrical Engineering as well as principles of Computer Science.

Dr. Herr can be seen giving a TED talk about bionics at this link: https://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_herr_the_new_bionics_that_let_us_run_climb_and_dance