Ken Endo

The human body possesses lantent functionality which, if harnessed, could dramatically change people's way of life. For example, the differences among abled, disabled and elderly people could be almost entirely erased if we could not only compensate for a lost function, but augment it. My goal is to eradicate the idea that physical disability is a limitation on anyone by taking prosthetic limb technology to the next level. For this to occur, both technological and social problems need to be solved. In order to tackle the technological problem, we need to better understand multiple systems of the human body-- nerves, reflexes, musculoskeletal system and even the brain itself, in order to design technology that meshes with natural human body motion. On the other hand, in order to disseminate this technology to disabled people living in developing countries, constraints such as poverty and environmental issues also need to be addressed. I address this challenge through the open science system paradigm, drawing on a diverse approach based on my interdisciplinary expertise and professional experience to aim for major global impact.

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[Keywords]
Prosthetics and Orthotics / Robotics / Sports / Biomechanics / Physical Disability / Appropriate Technology

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Ken ENDO received his BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering at Keio University in Japan. In 2005, he started to work on human biomechanics and development of transtibial prosthesis as a Ph.D student at the MIT Media Lab Biomechatronics group, receiving his Ph.D in 2012. During that period, he also served as an instructor at MIT's D-lab, teaching a course about developing orthopedic devices for developing countries. Currently, he works on augmentation of human physical abilities through robotic technology as a researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories. With a colleague, he founded Xiborg, a company that aims to bring the "delight of locomotion for all people," and serves as CEO. He was chosen as one of the world's most outstanding innovators under the age of 35 by Technology Review in 2012, and selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014.

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