The world’s first bionic man has been revealed. Seriously. It’s real now.
Rich Walker and Matthew Godden are the British roboticists behind this incredible accomplishment. The components represent some of the most advanced prostheses available to humans from top labs around the world, and many parts were donated for this project.
The bionic man was modeled on human anatomy and performs human bodily functions. The limbs of the bionic man are some of the most advanced in the world and contains 28 of the most advanced prosthetic body parts the world has ever seen.
His hands came from Touch Bionics - the same company that donated a pair to Aimee Copeland, a young girl who barely survived a flesh-eating bacterial infection following a zipline accident in 2012. Each finger contains a separate motor for maximum dexterity and the wrist can fully rotate. The bionic man does have problems with finesse, and has been known to drop a drink or two.
The lower legs came from BiOM, and contains a state-of-the-art ankle system capable of natural movements.
REX Bionics manufactured the frame of the body. The exoskeleton was originally designed to help people with mobility problems to walk.
In addition to the limbs the bionic man has a near-complete set of organs, including functional respiratory and circulatory systems. The bionic heart from SynCardia Systems is typically used for up to a year by patients who are awaiting a transplant. Synthetic polymer blood vessels were created by Dr. Alexander Seifalian, Professor of Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine at University College London.
In order to see, the bionic man uses retinal prostheses from Second Sight which partially restore vision to blind individuals. Hearing is achieved with a cochlear implant and it is able to speak using sophisticated speech recognition and production software. The bionic man is also equipped with a chatbot program to carry on conversations, but unfortunately, the researchers describe the bionic man as having the personality of “an annoying 13-year-old-boy. Altogether, the bionic man contains about 66% of the organs of a human being. He lacks a digestive system, as most of those organs cannot yet be created in a laboratory.
The construction of the bionic man was documented in “The Incredible Bionic Man,” on the Smithsonian Channel and can also be viewed online. The first live appearance in the United States was at New York Comic Con October 10-13, though he will be at the National Air and Space Museum until December 11, 2013.