Building a "bionic man"

IMG 2209 This is Rex, a $1 million "bionic man" built in the UK by roboticists Richard Walker and Matthew Godden. Rex was the star of a new Channel 4 documentary titled "How to Build A Bionic Man." Rex is outfitted with a variety of synthetic systems and appendages, from prosthetic limbs to a cochlear implant, artificial pancreas to retinal implant. He's now on display at the London Science Museum but will visit America in October to promote the Smithsonian Channel's US premier of the documentary, retitled "Cyborg/Frankenstein."


  1. Disturbingly reminiscent of a humanoid robot a friend of mine made. It didn’t simulate the functioning of the pancreas, but it was dressed in a clown suit, had a rubber face perpetually trapped in the “O” expression and a throbbing, rotating member. If you sat on its lap it would penetrate you, grip you tightly with its robotic arms, and scream while the head spun around.

    I declined to test its full functionality.

    1. If I understand this project correctly it’s not really a robot so much as an assemblage of high-tech “replacement parts” currently available for human beings. I wonder who has the current record for the greatest number of gizmos installed.

  2. This reminds me of a bit of short fiction I read somewhere on the net, which involved the theft of many high tech prosthetic devices, cochlear implant, artificial heart, etc, to build a complete person. Not sure where the brain came from.

  3. So this isn’t a research piece? It’s just sitting in a museum? That’s a darn shame.

    It would be so much more worthwhile to just donate it to the Mythbusters.

  4. Some bionic man – he can only go as far as his power cables allow, and trailing that massive pump under the chair. But contrast a tiny fruit fly is a model of elegant design, completely sell powering and guiding, and can reproduce. Hell, an amoeba is more impressive than this guy.

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