Brainy Quote of the Day

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rex in Effect...

With working organs and a realistic face, the world’s most high-tech humanoid made his debut in London yesterday and will be a one-man show at the city’s London Science Museum starting tomorrow.

The robot goes by Rex (short for robotic exoskeleton) or Million-Dollar Man (because that’s how much it cost to build him). Rex looks somewhat lifelike in that he has prosthetic hands, feet and a face modeled after a real man. That man is Swiss social psychologist Bertolt Meyer, who himself has a prosthetic hand. Such technology is now becoming more widely available to the general public.

But where Rex really breaks new ground is his suite of working organs. The team of roboticists, called Shadow, that created Rex incorporated various individual body parts built in labs all over the globe. He acts as a sort of showcase to demonstrate the human organs that are currently being built in the lab and what they can do.

Rex has a heart that beats with the help of a battery, and eyes that actually kind of see: Rex’s glasses send images to a microchip is his retina, which in turn sends electrical pulses to the brain, forming shapes and patterns. But the roboticists didn’t even try to tackle the complexity of the human brain this time.

Rex’s fist-sized dialysis unit works like a real kidney, and his mock spleen can filter infections from his “blood.” This filtering function could eventually be extremely helpful in a human, but Rex’s mock-circulatory system pumps a synthetic blood that is immune to infection.

Rex’s creators say he is the most complete bionic man to date.

Discovery Magazine: Bionic Man Has Fully Functional Mechanical Organs

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