News / Science & Technology

Incredible Bionic Man Showcases Cutting-Edge Medical Technology

Bionic Man Showcases Cutting-Edge Medical Technology i
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Julie Taboh
October 18, 2013 1:53 PM
A new state-of-the-art robot that walks, talks, grasps, sees and hears was recently the star attraction at an event at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. VOA's Julie Taboh was there and has this report.
A new state-of-the-art robot that walks, talks, grasps, sees and hears was recently the star attraction at an event at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, in Washington.
 
The robot doesn’t walk very well and doesn’t dance, but the two-meter-tall bot holds great promise for the future.
 
The Incredible Bionic Man, as he is called, is built entirely from artificial body parts and synthetic organs. He is the subject of a new documentary that chronicles the behind-the-scenes aspects of his story. 
 
Host Bertolt Meyer says it explores the question, "how far has medical technology come?"
 
“What parts of the human body can we already replace today? If we get all of the spare parts that exist and put them together in one piece, what will it look like?  And the result is, it looks like this,” explained Meyer.
 
Like the Bionic Man, Meyer, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, has a bionic hand. The robot also has 27 other artificial body parts.
 
“He has a great set of artificial organs already; he has an artificial heart, which is already used in patients; the artificial heart pumps artificial blood,” said Meyer.
 
“He has the same bionic hand as I have, as I was born without my lower left arm, and he sits in a robotic exoskeleton. Think of this as the wheelchair of the future; a device that will restore the ability to walk to people who are paralyzed.”
 
The bionic man's components were borrowed from some of the world’s leading researchers, including Joan Taylor, professor of pharmaceutics at De Montfort University in Leicester, England.  She is the inventor of its pancreas.
 
“These are important not so much from the robotic point of view but from the contribution to future medicine,” said Taylor.
 
According to Meyer, those implications are huge.
 
“This project shows that we can already replace a lot of broken parts and in the near future, technology might do away with many disabilities and with many diseases and illnesses, and society at large will benefit from them,” said Meyer, although he also stressed that the Bionic Man project is not about robots replacing human beings.
 
“There is no way to replace the human.  There is no artificial brain and all of these devices that you see here are designed to interface with the human body.”
 
As efforts to improve the Bionic Man and his components continue, engineers and doctors work hand in hand to advance the frontiers of human potential.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
October 22, 2013 5:18 AM
these bionics could be useful against chemical weapons attack.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
October 21, 2013 12:32 AM
I am sorry but this robot does not look like incredible and cutting-edge of medical technology.

by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, TKO
October 19, 2013 7:19 PM
This project is very good for understanding that our technologies are very far from the TERMINATOR.
And we can find out which part should be developed to create a bio-robot.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More