Real Cyborgs Among Us

real cyborgsAre there real cyborgs among us?  When you see these featured cyborg men and their cyborg devices you will be a believer in the coming of the cyborgs.  Not only are the cyborgs coming but they are already among us!

We recently featured a post on the latest greatest humanlike robots.  Those were interesting and scary.  In that case tech starts with a totally computerized being and try to work backward to create the most humanlike robot possible.  In the case of cyborgs we start with the human and begin adding technological devices and enhancements to one’s body to improve one’s life and voila “cyborg.”

There have been a number of folks who claim or because of implanted devices actually appear to be real cyborgs.   For instance, take the case of Kevin Warwick.  As Wikipedia explains,

“In 2002, under the heading Project Cyborg, a British scientist, Kevin Warwick, had an array of 100 electrodes fired in to his nervous system in order to link his nervous system into the Internet. With this in place he successfully carried out a series of experiments including extending his nervous system over the Internet to control a robotic hand, a loudspeaker and amplifier. This is a form of extended sensory input and the first direct electronic communication between the nervous systems of two humans.

There have been a number of folks who have had restorative procedures due to injuries and such and they are known as “restorative cyborgs.”  On the other hand, there are those like Steve Mann, who use technology to enhance everyday life.

In the video above Steve Mann, one of the real cyborgs among us, discusses his eyetap technology.  The eyetap allows him to record his experiences which he often shares over the internet.   For instance he mentions capturing his daughter’s first birthday and then sharing that on the internet.   His goal is to use this computerized technology for communication rather than just calculation.

Mann invented the first wearable computers in the 1970s.   In the 1980’s Mann’s wearable computers began a cyber fashion movement in Toronto.   In 1991 he brought wearable computers to MIT.  Mann is now a faculty member at the University of Toronto.

Interestingly enough Mann claims he was just recently (July 2012) the victim of what may be the first attack against a cyborg when he was apparently assaulted by employees of a McDonalds in France!   This may be a precursor to the effects that real cyborgs may one day have on others.  Just as there is now prejudice against others because of their differences whether it be religion, skin color or whatever, can you imagine the possible prejudice that may color our interactions with cyborgs if we question the extent to which they are even human?

Mann’s eyetap software which almost gives him the appearance of a Borg, seems to have been emulated by Google with their Google Glass (or glasses), which are glasses that essentially allow you to enjoy the virtual world while living in the real world.  As more and more folks may one day be equipped with Google Glass the question won’t be if there are real cyborgs among us are not, it may be “who among us isn’t a cyborg.”   Check out the video on Google Glass below:

Hope you enjoyed this brief look at real cyborgs and what the future may bring.  It is interesting that with our ever advancing technology we are able to get closer to creating a real humanoid robot while at the same time incorporating that same technology into our bodies to make us somewhat less human!

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