Conor Walsh is the founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab, which brings together researchers from the engineering, industrial design, apparel, clinical and business communities to develop new disruptive robotic technologies for augmenting and restoring human performance. This research includes new approaches to the design, manufacture and control of wearable robotic devices and characterizing their performance through biomechanical and physiological studies so as to further the scientific understanding of how humans interact with such machines. Example application areas include enhancing the mobility of healthy individuals, restoring the mobility of patients with gait deficits and assisting those with upper extremity weakness to perform activities of daily living. His research group actively engages with industry and multiple technologies have been licensed, and his group has active collaborations with multiple companies including ReWalk Robotics and New Balance.
He is passionate about educating future innovators and he has established the Harvard Medical Device Innovation Initiative that provides students with the opportunity to collaborate with clinicians. In addition, his research group is also dedicated to STEM education and have launched the Soft Robotics Toolkit, an open source resource to promote and disseminate materials for soft robotics. He is the winner of multiple awards including the MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 Award, Best Paper Award at the 2015 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, National Science Foundation Career Award, the Robotics Business Review Next generation Game Changer Award and the MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition Grand Prize. Conor received his B.A.I and B.A. degrees in Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in 2003, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and 2010.