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biorobotics

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

Biorobotics is the use of biological characteristics in living organisms as the knowledge base for developing new robot designs. The term can also refer to the use of biological specimens as functional robot components. Biorobotics intersects the fields of cybernetics, bionics, biology, physiology, and genetic engineering.

Biorobotics has been, and continues to be, exploited by the authors of science fiction books and movies. Androids (humanoid robots) represent the most obvious example. "Commander Data" in Star Trek, The Next Generation (TV series) is perhaps the most well-known android in science fiction. So are the "Borg" human/robot hybrids familiar to fans of the series. However, androids are neither new nor confined to the realms of fiction. A leading Japanese robotics engineer and researcher, Ichiro Kato, worked with robot substitutes for human body parts during the 20th Century. In the 1970s he constructed a full-size android called WABOT-1.

This was last updated in January 2013

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