A recent Channel 4 documentary titled How to Build a Bionic Man demonstrated the most advanced synthetic organs, limbs, and blood, through the construction of a 6.5-foot tall bionic man named Rex (short for ‘robotic exoskeleton’).
The program featured the social psychologist Bertolt Meyer and Rex — the first complete bionic man created by Shadow Robot Company’s Richard Walker and Matthew Godden using almost $1 million-worth of cutting edge body parts borrowed from leading laboratories and manufacturers. Rex has camera-equipped glasses, a cochlear implant, a battery-powered artificial heart, pancreas, kidney, spleen, trachea, legs, lungs, and synthetic blood made up of nanoparticles.
Bertolt Meyer was born without a left hand and now wears an i-Limb Ultra prosthetic hand. He was also the model for Rex’s face. In an interview with Telegraph, Meyer stated that he freaked out when he first saw Rex and felt awkward seeing his face on the mechanical man.
While assembled by roboticists, Rex is, strictly speaking, not a robot. He’s not a cyborg either. His parts are all man-made but fully-functional — each of them can or soon can replace a human being’s natural body part or internal organ.
Rex is currently on display at London’s Science Museum as part of the free exhibit How Much of You Can Be Rebuilt? until March 11, 2013.
Image and video credit: Channel4News / Youtube