Darrow's father - Sir Martin Darrow, media mogul and the founder of Picus Communications - enrolled him in the prestigious Scaitcliffe School and later the Stowe School. A natural athlete, Hugh was the captain of football, rugby union, and cricket teams, but beyond these sports, he found school to be boring and unchallenging, and opted not to enroll in college after graduation.
His personal interests in designing and building computer-controlled mechanical devices - a crude robot at age 10, a makeshift robotics lab at 16 - finally led him to the world's first Robot Wars competition in 1994.
He failed to win, but while discussing design ideas with other robotics experts at the competition, he heard about human motion studies being carried out at Stanford University, aimed at designing better prosthetic devices for amputees; Darrow extended his stay in the USA to meet with several biomechatronic researchers.
Adversity & Challenge
An ill-fated ski trip in 1995 left Darrow's anterior cruciate ligament in his knee ruined, and the failed attempts at allograft surgery left him debilitated; but not for Hugh, it was the moment in which his visionary mind first drew a connection between robotics, prosthetics, and improving human capabilities to realize the transhumanist potential of mechanical augmentation.
Hugh returned to England in 1996, and at the age of 23 he purchased a struggling prosthetics research and manufacturing firm. Merging the lab with his robotics company under the new name of Darrow Industries, he completely changed the focus of both firms.
Over the next decade, Darrow would devote much of his personal time and resources to traveling the world, convincing many of the best and brightest biotech scientists and researchers to come work for him in the emerging field of human enhancement technology.