The MIT Professor Obsessed with Building Intelligent Prosthetics

Photo courtesy Ossur One Saturday morning in January 1982, Hugh Herr and Jeff Batzer set out to climb Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 feet. To even the most dedicated climbing aficionados, it appeared a foolhardy mission. Avalanche conditions had swept through every gully on the mountain except for one, but Herr, 17, was well known for his fearless spirit. A climbing prodigy who scaled the face of Mount Temple, a 11,627- foot peak in the Canadian Rockies at the age of eight, Herr had even begun free climbing without ropes in his early teens. Such was his reputation that Batzer, despite being three years his senior, trusted him implicitly. But 1,000 feet from the summit, things would start to go very wrong. With…

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