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David Sengeh: Biomechatronics for the Masses

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In war-torn Sierra Leone, a common method used to punish civilians and prevent the rise of new combatants was the practice of hacking off limbs. Until recently, fitting these patients with high performance, comfortable prosthetic limbs was a painful, iterative, and too often prohibitively costly process. 

Lack of access to fully functioning limbs isn't just a problem for remote and impoverished communities—it affects amputees everywhere, including veterans and accident victims. Bluntly put, "If your prosthetic socket is uncomfortable," says David Sengeh (MIT PhD '16), "you will not use your leg."

Developing a better prosthetic fit has been a consuming passion of David's for the last decade. And he has pioneered a method that combines high-resolution MRI scans with mathematical stress models to produce a digital design that can be 3D printed almost anywhere by almost anyone.

Meet game-changing designer, rap artist, fashion designer, and educator David Sengeh for an inspiring evening of big ideas. 

BIG Maker is a series of occasional talks about big, transformative ideas hosted by Burlington's Generator makerspace with support from the City of Burlington, Champlain College, Hotel Vermont, Burlington Telecom, Burlington City Arts, Designbook, and VCAM.

Produced by VCAM.

Episode Number: 
Original Airdate: 
Friday, March 11, 2016