PITTSBURGH, September 12, 2007 A double amputee whose trailblazing work in the emerging field of biomechatronics has led to the development of new prosthetic innovations that merge body and machine has been selected to receive the 13th annual Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment, among the largest individual achievement prizes in the world.
Dr. Hugh Herr, 43, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys Media Lab whose advances in prosthetics and orthotics technology that marries robotics and human biomechanics have given greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities, is among six distinguished Americans selected to receive one of the $250,000 awards, presented in five categories by the Heinz Family Foundation.
Everything about Dr. Herr is an expression of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. His breakthrough advances in rehabilitation technologies are immeasurably improving the quality of life for thousands of people with physical challenges, but for him, every breakthrough is just an invitation to push harder and do more. Accomplished yet modest, determined yet good natured, he approaches his work with great skill and great wonder. Both his life and his inventions demonstrate what an unbeatable combination that is.
With more than 36,000 new amputees in the United States every year including hundreds of American soldiers who have lost limbs in the War in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 Dr. Herr is helping improve mobility and enhance the quality of life for many physically challenged people around the world. The holder (or co-holder) of numerous patents, including the Computer-Controlled Artificial Knee (commercially available as the Rheo Knee), the Active Ankle-Foot Orthosis, and the worlds first Powered Ankle-Foot Prosthesis, he is advancing an emerging field of science that applies the principles of
|Contact: Jon Newman|
The Heinz Family Foundation