Watch the talk here »

What if the future of medicine is personalized treatment where drugs and treatments are designed just for you? In this talk at TEDxBoston, Dr. Geraldine Hamilton explains how she and her team at the Wyss Institute are designing micro-chips that act like miniature versions of human organs, allowing drug companies to safely test new drugs on humans, and even children. 

So far, her research has produced two different “organs on a chip,” as she calls them — a human gut and a human lung. Watch Dr. Hamilton explain why this is so important for medicine »

TEDx speaker Henry Evans gives out candy and opens his fridge … via robot!

Today in the world’s a pretty amazing place — how quadriplegia hasn’t stopped Henry Evans from shaving, giving out Halloween candy, or even flying over his garden.

In today’s TED Talk — given at TEDxMidAtlantic  — we meet Henry Evans. In 2003, Henry became quadriplegic and mute after a stroke-like attack. But thanks to the help of Robots for Humanity — a collective of folks working to use robots to help the severely disabled live more independent lives — Henry can now shave, fetch himself a drink, even play soccer against other people with quadriplegia.

Henry’s world exploration isn’t limited to the ground, either. Henry can use the subtle movements of his head to fly a drone over his garden, onto his roof, or even on the other side of the country at Robotics For Humanity’s headquarters, all while wearing a virtual reality helmet that immerses himself in the flying robot’s universe.

In the talk, Henry tells how robots have changed his life, and how he hopes they will soon change others’:

For about two years, Robots for Humanity developed ways for me to use the PR2 as my body surrogate,” he says. “I shaved myself for the first time in 10 years … I handed out Halloween candy. I opened my refrigerator on my own. I began doing tasks around the house. I saw new and previously unthinkable possibilities to live and contribute, both for myself and others in my circumstance…

One hundred years ago, I would have been treated like a vegetable. Actually, that’s not true. I would have died.

It is up to us, all of us, to decide how robotics will be used, for good or for evil, for simply replacing people or for making people better, for allowing us to do and enjoy more. Our goal for robotics is to unlock everyone’s mental power by making the world more physically accessible to people such as myself and others like me around the globe.”

Take a few minutes and watch the whole talk. You’ll be glad you did.

Dad makes son 3D-printed hand! 3 TEDx talks to celebrate the awesomeness that is 3D printing

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imageToday in super cool tech news: Dad makes son prosthetic hand with 3D printer, all the kids at the lunch table get jealous

12-year-old Leon McCarthy was born without fingers on his left hand. Without a prosthetic, Leon learned to rely on his dependable five fingers. That is until his dad, Paul, made him an amazing, colorful, custom-made prosthetic hand with a 3D printer, and Leon got to try out using ten.

Paul found instructions for printing the prosthetic hand online thanks to prosthetics-designer Ivan Owen, who wanted to create an open-source , DIY option for people who might not be able to get their hands on a typical $20,000-$30,000 prosthetic. Paul made Leon’s hand with only $10 in parts.

In an interview with CBS News, Leon said the prosthetic made an impact in his life not only because it allowed him to draw and hold his backpack and drink out of a bottle using his left hand, but it also made him "special instead of different" — a self-described 12-year-old cyborg.

We can’t get over this story, and to celebrate all the amazing innovators, inventors, and cool dads setting off on adventures in 3D printing, 3 TEDx Talks on the wonders of 3D printing:

**Scott Summit: Beautiful artificial limbs
Another prosthetics designer, Scott Summit, began to take issue with his work when he noticed that a lot of his patients had to hack their own artificial limbs — with socks, bubble wrap, even duct tape — just to feel comfortable. In this talk from TEDxCambridge, he describes how he turned to 3D printing to create limbs that not only match a person’s body, but their personality as well.

**Klaus Stadlmann: The world’s smallest 3D printer
Klaus Stadlmann built the microprinter, the smallest 3D printer in the world. In this talk from TEDxVienna, he demos this tiny machine that could someday make customized hearing aids — or sculptures smaller than a human hair.

**David F. Flanders: Why I have a 3D printer
David F. Flanders is a 3D printing guru and the host of PIF3D, a collective dedicated to hosting “build parties,” during which 3D printing experts help curious outsiders build personal 3D printers. In this talk from TEDxHamburg, he discusses the development of the technology and the implications of its mass use, including 3D printers’ role in recovery relief, architecture, and the office supply closet.

(Photos: CBS News)