Our Story: Where we came from & where we’re headed

Considering tough problems within their larger context has been part of Humotech’s philosophy from the beginning. Paying attention to the bigger picture allows us to explore wide-ranging, innovative approaches that lead to multi-faceted solutions.

We began as a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off in 2015, starting with a deceptively simple question: What if instead of building prototype after prototype (or trying to cross the gap between simulation and reality), we could evaluate assistive device concepts by programming a robot to emulate them in real time while a user walked? Would a similar approach also provide better patient outcomes, and make life easier for clinicians, too? Might such a system even change the way insurance companies, clinicians, and patients work together, improving efficiency and lowering healthcare costs?

The work of answering those questions, which grew out of founder and CEO Josh Caputo’s doctoral work at CMU’s Experimental Biomechatronics Laboratory, led to our first product, Caplex, and the PRO-001 Ankle-Foot Prosthesis, the first of many wearable assistive devices available for use with Caplex.

We are committed to:

  • Finding solutions that work in the real world in order to improve patients’ quality of life. Challenges exist because human/device interactions are incredibly complex and unpredictable; there is no single, simple engineering solution. We at Humotech are part of a large community encompassing research, health care, medical professionals, and patients, all dedicated to finding new and better solutions.
  • Supporting the efforts of our research customers by building truly collaborative relationships. We believe this is a win-win scenario, where we can further our company’s goals and serve the best interests of our customers and the field as a whole at the same time.
  • Addressing the needs of all concerned in a holistic manner—researchers and manufacturers; medical professionals, insurers, and regulators; and patients, families, and caregivers—with creative approaches and engineering expertise.
  • Improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs by empowering medical professionals with personalized data that can help predict how specific patients may be affected by different interventions.
Humotech grew out of Dr. Caputo’s research at CMU’s Experimental Biomechatronics Laboratory, directed by Steve Collins.
With reliable, personalized data from Humotech’s evaluation tool (currently in clinical trials), medical professionals could effectively determine which device is best for a specific patient, streamlining prescriptions and facilitating billing and reimbursement.
Dr. Caputo and the Humotech team are dedicated to helping our colleagues and customers find new and better solutions that work in the real world.
Humotech’s collaborative approach includes installation, on-site training, technical support, and a complete warranty and maintenance package.
Dr. Caputo and the Humotech team are dedicated to helping our colleagues and customers find new and better solutions that work in the real world.
 
 

Team

Joshua Caputo, PhD
President & CEO

Josh Caputo founded Humotech in 2015 as a spin-off from research based on his PhD thesis work in the Experimental Biomechatronics Laboratory (directed by Steve Collins) at Carnegie Mellon University. Josh’s driving passion is for developing and commercializing cutting-edge robotics technology that addresses current societal needs while at the same time helping us to realize our dreams for the future of robotics.

Josh began his PhD research asking, “What if we could build a better foot?” His question quickly became, “What if we could change the world to make life better for folks with mobility impairments?” To solve this much larger problem required imagining a new approach to prosthesis design, one that didn’t rely on traditional prototyping. That led to the creation of the Caplex system, its first wearable assistive device (an ankle-foot prosthesis), and Humotech.

Blair Patterson, BA
Operations Manager

Blair Patterson is a military veteran (USMC-Reserve) and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, with experience in nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Blair’s first work experience with assistive devices and operations management began with threeRivers 3D, Inc., which manufactured 3D scanners used to produce custom orthotics. He is inspired by Humotech’s people, their passion for the work and their dedication to make the world a better place. Blair brings both versatility and discipline to his management approach, crucial for an entrepreneurial venture where the environment changes every day.

Tianyao Chen, PhD
Director, Research & Development

Tianyao Chen is a huge fan of mechanical engineering and is fascinated by human motion. He began working in lower limb prosthesis R&D as a Carnegie Mellon University graduate student with Josh at the Experimental Biomechatronics Laboratory. He continued his studies at Catholic University of America, focusing on upper limb exoskeletons, followed by work with Walt Disney Imagineering, developing animatronics. He returned to Pittsburgh and joined Humotech so he could help lead the way in prosthesis and exoskeleton research, design, and development.

 

Carl Curran, MS
Director of Engineering

Carl Curran saw the need for prostheses and exoskeletons early on—his uncle is an amputee and his grandfather was wheelchair bound after a stroke—but he admits that the real reason he became a mechanical engineer with a robotics emphasis is the opportunity to bring the dreams of science fiction into reality. An alum of Carnegie Mellon University, Carl is excited by the challenges of tough problems and inspired by what happens when all the technical aspects of a design finally integrate into one system, and an inanimate object springs to life.

 

Brendan Wiant, BA
Director of Marketing & Graphic Design

Brendan is an experienced art director, project manager, and designer. His background includes major exhibit work (trade shows, waysides, museum and nature center exhibits, and more) as well as strategic planning, branding and product graphics, and art direction and design for print and electronic media, as well as website design, for a wide range of clients.

We chose Brendan to lead our marketing and communication efforts because his approach and philosophy are in alignment with Humotech’s commitment to excellence and collaboration. In the same way that we strive to help our customers do the work that moves the entire field forward, Brendan brings together the right people and skill set for each project.

 
 

Advisors

Urmi Ashar, MD, MBA
Business Strategy

President, TransforMEDx

Andy Ellis
Business Strategy

Jackie Erickson
Communications, Public & Government Relations

Founder, The Jackie Group

 

Elora Gupta, PhD
Regulatory Strategy

Partner, Drug and Device Advisory Group

Ian Magazine
Business Strategy

Anthony Potter
Business & Marketing Strategy

 
 
 

Careers

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We do not currently have any open opportunities.

If you would like to be considered for future openings, please submit the following to careers@humotech.com:

  • Resume

  • Cover letter (1 page max)

  • Portfolio showcasing the highlights of your work

 
 
 
 

Partners

 

We use ANSYS Mechanical in the design and analysis of our devices.

We use FUTEK load cells and signal conditioners for all of our force measurement needs. See Application Note 167.

The brains of our emulator systems are written in MATLAB/Simulink.

 
 

Our code runs in Simulink Real-Time on Speedgoat machines. See Speedgoat user stories.

We use fiberglass leaf springs from Gordon Composites for compliance in our devices.