Credit: Howard Schatz via

Hugh Herr SM ’93, associate professor and director of the Biomechatronics Group at the MIT Media Lab, contributed to a fascinating article in Fast Company about the appeal of prosthetics from not just a functional standpoint, but also a social and even sexual one.

Herr, who lost both his legs below the knee in a rock climbing accident at age 17, has robotic ankles that can propel him across the room in 400-watt bursts. “When the technology works,” he told Fast Company, “when it can make you stronger or faster than you were, it overnight becomes sexy and powerful and threatening. Overnight.”

Read more about Herr and recent advancements in prostheses.