1 Million Dollar Bionic Man Makes Debut

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posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 11:25 AM
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I've always been intrigued by robots, robotics, and bionics. Seeing how quickly we are advancing in that technology is certainly encouraging, to particularly the disabled, to put it mildly.



A British documentary, "How to Build a Bionic Man" will debut a 6 foot 6 inch bionic hominid put together by a team of robot experts to show how the progress of medicine is bringing to life what was pure science fiction only a few decades ago.



Source



It incorporates some of the latest advances in mechanical limbs, as well as an artificial pancreas, kidney, spleen and trachea, and a functional blood circulatory system.



He even has artificial intelligence and a speech synthesis system allowing him to understand simple statements and respond to questions. The finished "man" can walk and talk, and apparently says his name is Rex and informs people that he likes Ralph Lauren and rap music.


All of his 'parts' could theoretically be welded to a human body to replace missing or worn out parts.


"Throughout history people have always sought to enhance themselves to overcome disabilities or to become 'bigger, better, stronger and faster'.


The man's head features a pair of retinal implants behind his brown irises, to allow him to sense objects in front of him, cochlear implants to allow him to hear and is covered with artificial skin.

Here he walks with assistance from the Rex exoskeleton.






It seems apt that the program should be hosted by Dr. Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist from Switzerland. Meyer was born without a left hand, and wears an iLimb Ultra, a sophisticated prosthetic hand made by Touch Bionics (the same type used in the android) priced at around US$48,000. Sensors applied to the skin of the residual limb detect muscular movements, which the device translates into hand and finger movements. Meyer is joined by UK roboticists Richard Walker and Matthew Godden, specialists from the Shadow Robot Company (probably best known for the Shadow dexterous robot hand). They borrowed £630,000 (approximately $1 million) worth of parts to construct the bionic man, which looks at first glance somewhat silly. It may not pass for a person, but it does highlight promising current and future technologies


Break-down of the parts include:

Eye

A pair of glasses fitted with a camera transmits images to a microchip inserted directly onto the retina. The retina picks up the implant's electrical pulses, which the brain interprets as shapes and patterns. Although retinal implants have been in development for years, they generally suffer from poor resolution – but the technology continues to evolve.

Ear

A cochlear implant stimulates nerve fibers in the inner ear, generating signals that can be interpreted by the human brain. Unfortunately the bionic man doesn't really have ears, and has just an internet chat bot program for a brain (so the cochlear implant isn't really being used at all), but you get the idea. It possesses limited artificial intelligence, relying on standard speech recognition and speech synthesis to respond to spoken words.

Heart

More than a thousand patients have received SynCardia's battery-powered artificial heart, but it is still only a temporary solution until a donor can be found.

Pancreas

An experimental gel-like sack containing insulin that liquifies and hardens to release or retain insulin depending on blood glucose levels. Inventor Joan Taylor (Professor, De Montfort University) believes it is around seven years from general use.

Kidney

A silicon nano-scale filtration system powered by the patient's blood pressure, that uses a small bio-reactor containing renal tubule cells from a healthy kidney to perform the job of the real organ. Clinical trials are set for 2017.

Legs

The Rex robotic exoskeleton gives the bionic man its balance and ability to walk. It's one of a handful of devices being developed around the world that augment human strength. Rather than replacing the human legs, it is worn almost like a pair of pants.

Foot and ankle

The iWalk BiOM ankle mimics the actions of the calf muscle and Achilles tendon. It was developed by Professor Hugh Herr, who lost his legs to frostbite in a climbing accident. Unlike the Rex exoskeleton, this is a prosthetic that is designed to take the place of the lower leg.


It seems like we've still got a long way to go before we can say we've seen a real bionic man. Much of this technology is still only experimental, and will take years to fully develop, but the program will raise some of the ethical concerns relating to it.


The show airs Feb 7th channel 4.

Also visit this excellent thread about bionics tech put together by Slayer69

Bionics are Becoming Reality



edit on 5-2-2013 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 11:43 AM
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This is related to the revolutionary game Deus Ex Human Revoltion. This are called Augmentations.

Mark my words.This is going to be the reality after a couple of years.

edit on 5-2-2013 by inj3ct0r because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by Lonewulph
 


They will probably start putting human brains in these guys.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by inj3ct0r
 

Wow, total mind blow.
I believe the genetic/mechanic aspects of the technology will continue to progress based on how well nano tech improves but will eventually cross over at some point, probably after having been integrated over a period of time. With advances in stem cell and 3D printing I can see a more organic/biological future for body part replacements.
edit on 5-2-2013 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:09 PM
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I hope this is first used to help the paralyzed and those with missing limbs regain mobility, but I also see a domestic side to these coming. Science fiction has talked for years about the household robot servant and I think we're seeing it's beginnings. Maybe in 20 years, we'll have a robot that cleans the house, drives the kids to school and even fixes meals.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by inj3ct0r
 

No, I disagree. What you are talking about is a FICTIONAL computer game. The link you give goes to some Deus Ex Wiki. For example...

These augmentations are installed into slots in various parts of the body. The choice is permanent, so once the augmentation is activated, it cannot be undone for the remainder of the game. Unlike previous iterations,players are not required to find specific items for specific augmentation slots; you may activate any augmentation at any time so long as you have the required Praxis points.



Typhoon Explosive System. In effect, the Typhoon augmentation turns its user into a human fragmentation grenade, placing him or her at the center of a blast radius that inflicts a ranged sphere of damage on surrounding targets, in all directions, without focus or aim. Every detonation requires the expenditure of one ammo pack and one energy cell.


What the OP is showing and describing here is IN REAL LIFE. I look forward to your explanation on how some writers from a video game have somehow influenced both the REAL LIFE development of synthetic internal organs and robotic limbs and also financed some very high tech advancements from some of the top universities and corporations in this field.

Research and development into advanced robotics has been going on for decades, and if anything the link is the other way round: Real life robotic developments influenced this video game.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by Severin
 


I have my opinions.
You have your opinions.
This is just the beginning of human bionics.
Did you even watch the videos?
edit on 5-2-2013 by inj3ct0r because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by Severin
 





No, I disagree. What you are talking about is a FICTIONAL computer game. The link you give goes to some Deus Ex Wiki. For example...

I may be very well be talking about games .But augmentations are no fiction.



I look forward to your explanation on how some writers from a video game have somehow influenced both the REAL LIFE development of synthetic internal organs and robotic limbs and also financed some very high tech advancements from some of the top universities and corporations in this field.

Well I wont explain you how 'some writers from a video game have somehow influenced both the REAL LIFE development of synthetic internal organs and robotic limbs and also financed some very high tech advancements from some of the top universities and corporations in this field.'

Want to know why ?
Because I never said that the 'writers influenced synthetic organs'



Research and development into advanced robotics has been going on for decades, and if anything the link is the other way round: Real life robotic developments influenced this video game.

Agreed



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by DAVID64
I hope this is first used to help the paralyzed and those with missing limbs regain mobility, but I also see a domestic side to these coming. Science fiction has talked for years about the household robot servant and I think we're seeing it's beginnings. Maybe in 20 years, we'll have a robot that cleans the house, drives the kids to school and even fixes meals.


I'm hoping to see more progress in the genetic approach to body part/organ replacement especially for complex organs such as a perfect pancreas for type 1 diabetics for example. With stem-cell, 3d printing, nano technology, cloning, and god genes, I hope to see some major breakthroughs in growing new organs in the lab...at least in my life-time.

I can certainly see robotics taken much further at a domestic level especially in the next 20 years. However I believe instead of a single, and probably very expensive, all-purpose robot perhaps 'task-specific' robots...each with their own skill set.

For example, a driverless smart car for deliveries, roving robots for large property security or dog walking, robots for basic cleaning, robot tennis opponent, and so on. Manufacturers will not only make more money that way, but there will be a broader consumer base for a more affordable task specific robots.
edit on 5-2-2013 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:42 PM
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There are so few ways that this thing can be adequately put.

FRIGGIN AWESOME!

I hope that the advances in bionics that are being made right now, have good outcomes in mobility and robotics research in the future. They are certainly having great outcomes in the field of impressing the hell out of me!



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 

If you haven't seen it, check out Slayer's two part series on bionic advancements, amazing info there as well.
Link at the bottom of OP.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by inj3ct0r
 

Yes, I watched all the video's in this thread as this is an area that I am particularly interested in. When I clicked your link to the game wiki I was disappointed to find it was full of fictional stuff like those I quoted and much more. My personal interest is in Real World issues and applications for this remarkable technology.

And yes I also think that the next 5-10 years could see many useful solutions and breakthroughs to combat numerous disabilities and deficiencies that we presently face being made widely available.

The future is what we (as a species) make it. But I think it dilutes the importance of this when we relate it to some video game.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Severin
 


Again , I have my opinion.
You have your opinion.

People get influenced by films ,music and other sources of entertainment.
I do not think 'it dilutes the importance of this when we relate it to some video game' because they are also a source of entertainment and they do influence a vast section of people.



When I clicked your link to the game wiki I was disappointed to find it was full of fictional stuff like those I quoted and much more.

Well obviously , I already mentioned that it was a game.



My personal interest is in Real World issues and applications for this remarkable technology.

Hmm Interesting.



And yes I also think that the next 5-10 years could see many useful solutions and breakthroughs to combat numerous disabilities and deficiencies that we presently face being made widely available.

Lets hope so.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 01:04 PM
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Hmmm... The rise of the machines! Our
eventual masters, or even our exterminators.

Progress though.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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It looks like Robot man has a 1 year old Robot child, this is a different approach to research which is concentrating on “emotionally relevant” characteristics, its pretty spooky to look at though.

Machine Perception Lab




posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 01:44 PM
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I will be impressed when he can clean my house.

I am going to pissed off if they come out with a fully functional android before they come out with a cure for arthritis.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by Severin
 


That is creepy indeed. I wonder what their long term target application would be? With a good enough AI perhaps a service companion to an autistic child or the like.

Amazing expression robotics here, they should collaborate with Hollywood.


ETA: Helps if I read your link

"Its main goal is to try and understand the development of sensory motor intelligence from a computational point of view," explained principal investigator Movellan in a 2010 Q&A with the Japan-based PlasticPals blog. "It brings together researchers in developmental psychology, machine learning, neuroscience, computer vision and robotics. Basically we are trying to understand the computational problems that a baby’s brain faces when learning to move its own body and use it to interact with the physical and social worlds."
edit on 5-2-2013 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by Char-Lee
reply to post by Lonewulph
 


They will probably start putting human brains in these guys.


Hope not, aren't we trying to progress?


Very cool, the face and skin is very impressive. Lets hope technical advancements are made to the point that it brings down the cost for the average handicap person to take advantage of this technology.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


Good point, arthritis would be a biggie.
Might want to rent a real person for about the next 20 years, even then it still might be cheaper.
I think you just gave me an idea.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by Lonewulph
 


A companion for an autistic child was my exact thought too, I really hope this comes to pass


Ah, the Gustav Hoegen video's are beautiful, he has quite a few from previous years too, that guy is an incredible artist.

Sometimes I think that we have just such a bright future ahead of us, in terms of technology I've heard it said over and over that if we can imagine it - we can do it, if only we can sort out all the present s**t in the world then there will be no stopping us





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