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Engineer Walks the Walk

Engineer Walks the Walk
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Double-amputee designed his own bionic legs with Solidworks 3D design technology from Dassault Systèmes.

World’s first bionic foot and calf system - BIOM

World’s first bionic foot and calf system – BIOM

Hugh Herr is more than the director of the Biomechatronics Group at the MIT Media Lab. He is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs.

After having ascended a difficult ice route in Huntington Ravine in New Hampshire, Herr and a fellow climber were caught in a blizzard and became disoriented, ultimately descending into the Great Gulf where they passed three nights in −20 °F (−29 °C) degree temperatures. By the time they were rescued, the climbers had suffered severe frostbite. Both of Herr’s legs had to be amputated below the knees.

Herr went on to do what doctors told him was unthinkable. He climbed again, using specialized prostheses that he designed.

He created prosthetic feet with high toe stiffness that made it possible to stand on small rock edges the width of a coin. Herr design for his own bionic legs — the world’s first bionic foot and calf system — is called the BiOM.  He designed using Solidworks 3D design technology from Dassault Systèmes.

“My MIT research group, as well as my company iWalk, have always used Solidworks,” says Herr. His MIT research group uses Solidworks Simulation Premium.

“Solidworks was used in the design of all mechanical aspects of the BiOM. The learning curve for Solidworks is minimal, allowing rapid use by new incoming students.  Integrated software subsystems including dynamic FEA modules, enable a comprehensive modeling tool,” says Herr.

Hugh Herr from MIT shows his bionic legs, which he designed in Solidworks

Hugh Herr from MIT shows his bionic legs, which he designed in Solidworks

Dassault Systems http://www.3ds.com/

Solidworks http://www.solidworks.com/sw/products/simulation/simulation-premium.htm

iWalk BIOM: http://www.biom.com

Engineer Walks the Walk
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