Hugh Ger, a Lancaster native and biophysicist who specializes in the innovative limbs of a brain-controlled robot, was featured in “Augmented,” a special Nova PBS documentary that premiered Feb. 23.
The episode is available for on-demand broadcast on all PBS platforms and in the PBS video program.
The documentary shows Ger, director of a biomechanics research group specializing in technology that combines human physiology with electromechanics, teaming up with a wounded climber and surgeon at Boston’s leading hospital to test a new approach to prosthetics.
This is a topic close to Hugh’s heart. As a climber and a person with double amputees, the inventor called himself a “bionic man” led the creation of innovative prosthetics.
When he was a 17-year-old prodigy, Herr was injured in a rock climb on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. He got frostbite and had to amputate both legs.
In Hera’s 1991 biography, The Second Ascent: The Story of Hugh Hera, Alison Osius wrote, “For Hugh, mountaineering became a fierce obsession that aroused in him a craving he did not know he possessed.”
This aspiration led Hera to develop her own prosthetics and continue successful mountaineering at the elite level.
After success in climbing with new limbs, Herr was forced to return to school to study engineering and physics. Ger earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in biophysics from Harvard and began work on developing more sophisticated prosthetics.
“Augmented” follows the hero as he continues his inspiring journey to use his personal tragedy as a way to help other people in need of prosthetics.
Watch the trailer below and watch the full episode here.