Due to the nature of the subject and the ongoing research wrapped into the story, filming AUGMENTED required a lot of patience and persistance. Lugging camera gear up the white mountains in the dead of winter, or waiting for hours and days on end for something noteworthy to happen in a lab and boiling down 10tb of footage into a watchable film has been a challenge, but rewarding.
The story is centered around Hugh Herr, a double-amputee and MIT scientist who creates brain-controlled robotic limbs. At age 17, Herr’s legs were amputated due to frostbite, after he and a friend got lost in a blizzard and nearly died while climbing New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. Hugh was stunned by the primitive prosthetic legs he was given, and he set out to do something about it. His audacious goal is to eliminate disability, to create a world where designer limbs are as desirable and common as designer eyeglasses. Hugh and Dr. Matthew Carty, a top surgeon at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, are creating a radical new way of performing amputations that allows bionic limbs to move and feel like the real thing. Along the way, they just might redefine what it means to be human.