The concept of a “bionic man” was merely fiction in the 1970s, when The Six Million Dollar Man TV show was popular. However, like many things we used to dream up, we just may have the technology to create the real thing.
The robot was created by Shadow Robot Co., and made its first trip to the United States to hang out with cosplayers, stars, and fans alike at New York Comic Con this weekend.
Along with going on tour, The New York Daily News reports that the “man” is the subject of a Smithsonian Channel documentary, which will air on Sunday, October 30. The documentary, called The Incredible Bionic Man, follows engineers as they attempt to assemble a functioning body using artificial parts.
The fully-assembled man has parts from 17 different manufacturers around the world. According to managing director Richard Walker, it’s the first time the parts have been assembled together.
The robot has about 60 to 70 percent of the function of a human, according to Walker. Standing at an impressive six feet, six inches, the bionic man can stand up and sit down with the help of a Rex walking machine, which is normally used by patients who have a spinal injury that left them unable to walk.
The San Francisco Chronicle notes that the man was modeled after Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist at the University of Zurich who was born without his lower left arm. A 3D model of Meyer’s face was used to create the face of the robot. The 36-year-old, who uses a bionic prosthesis, commented that he was initially unnerved at the sight of the robot. However, he warmed up to it, partially because the “man” was outfitted with clothes from UK department store Harrods.
While the bionic man shows what modern-day technology can do, there is still work to be done. The robot lacks a digestive system, liver, and skin. And, of course, it is also missing a brain. But the cost of the machine, if parts were to be purchased, is about $1 million.
[Image via ShutterStock]