Human Plus

Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering, an engaging exhibition shows how we all can use our ingenuity to build body replacements, develop brain-machine interfaces, and engineer unique assistive tools that push human potential beyond limits.

What do you get when cutting edge science and engineering join forces to assist the human body? Endless possibilities for improving day-to-day lives and realize lifelong dreams! Explore Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont.

The exhibition offers visitors of all ages the chance to explore engineering concepts and create a range of low- and high-tech tools that extend the potential of the human body. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the exhibition showcases compelling stories from a unique field of engineering that uses science, technology, and creativity that not only helps people carry out their day-to-day routines, but also helps them realize lifelong dreams.

"It is no longer a conversation about overcoming deficiency…It’s a conversation about potential.” – Aimee Mullins, Paralympic champion, actor, model, inspirational speaker and double amputee.

We’re excited to be hosting the New England debut of Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering at the Montshire,” says Bob Raiselis, Montshire’s Exhibits Director. “Engineering is all about meeting challenges and solving problems, and this exhibition allows our museum visitors to learn about and to be part of the creative engineering involved in the important work of extending the capabilities of the human body.”

Every Body Plays
Throughout the exhibit, Montshire visitors will be able get their hands on a broad range of actual ability-enhancing tools. Exhibits include: a simulated downhill mono-ski course; a DJ station built of out a wheelchair and controlled by the wheels; a touch panel that translates music into vibrations that visitors can feel; a hands-free computer mouse, controlled through slight movements of the head, that allows a visitor to the exhibition to type messages, edit photos, and watch videos; and a neuroprosthetic limb that can be controlled by a person’s thoughts. Visitors can even re-design themselves in a full body simulation and test body enhancement technologies that supersize their strength, showcasing the new horizon of engineering that was once the stuff of science fiction.

Ask, Imagine, Create 
The engineering process always begins by asking the user what they want to achieve. The exhibition poses design challenges from real-life users, such as “can you make a tool to help a wheelchair user feed a pet? Or a tool that helps someone with a visual impairment locate hard-to-detect obstacles? How about a canoe that someone who doesn’t have arms can paddle?” After viewing some of the amazing technology developed by today’s engineers, visitors will be able to put their own engineering skills to the test as they build and try out their own inventions. 

Compelling Stories and Videos 
From busy moms to engineers, adventurers to dance performers: people who use these new technologies – as well as the innovators themselves – share their stories through videos as well as the real life tools they use every day. Whether they about caring for three children, or about reaching the summit of Mt. Everest, these stories captivate listeners.

Human Plus opens January 30 and runs through May 8, 2016.

The exhibition was created by the New York Hall of Science in partnership with OMSI and the Quality of Life Technology Center with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Presentation of Human Plus at the Montshire is made possible in part by

Lake Sunapee Bank


Media Sponsor



March 1, 8, 15, and 22
6:30-7:30 pm 
Free and open to the public.

What happens when our bodies are injured, born with a challenge, or just wear out? What happens when you start adding technology to the outside and inside of the body? How do you adapt a single activity for multiple people with disabilities? How do we support a community with differences? 

This spring, the Montshire Museum of Science presents the exhibition, Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering, which tells compelling stories of engineers and users who design and use technologies to help themselves and others achieve their goals—from everyday routines to lifelong dreams. Join us for live community programs that examine the complexities of the human body and how we can support it through engineering and community well-being. 

March 1
+ HUMANS Evolve
The Evolution of Walking: The Perils of Bipedalism
Jeremy DeSilva, PhD
Watch the recorded video of this presentation

March 8
+ We Evolve HUMANS
Engineering on the Inside: Innovations in Implants
Michael Mayor, PhD
Watch the recorded video of this presentation

March 15
+ HUMANS have Differences 
Sports for Every Body
Maggie Burke
Watch the recorded video of this presentation

March 22
+ HUMANS find Balance 
Balancing Brains, Bodies and the Mind 
Adam Pearce
Watch the recorded video of this presentation 

+ Talks are supported by Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk