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Bionic Man Shows Off Advanced Prosthetics

A “bionic man” developed at the University of Zurich paid a visit to the U.S. capital earlier this month, displaying some of the most advanced prosthetics technology available.

Bertolt Meyer and his bionic man (Frank) both use the same prosthetic hand technology. Image: Daily Mail

The international team that built the robot has recreated more than 50% of the human body—including limbs and a complete circulatory system—in the remote controlled humanoid contraption. Not only can he walk and talk, the robot can also breathe using artificial lungs. The 6-ft. robot has been named “Frank” because of his jerky, Frankenstein-like gait.

Shadow Robot Co. in England spearheaded the assembly of the robot using donated components. Those components include an exoskeleton from REX Bionics; a pair of robotic ankles and feet from BiOM, which were designed (and are also worn) by engineer Hugh Herr of MIT’s Media Lab; and the Touch Bionics i-LIMB prosthetic hand, a device also worn by University of Zurich social psychologist Bertolt Meyer, who designed the robot (Frank’s face is a silicon replica of his creator’s mug). He also includes 200 processors and nearly a million sensors, along with 26 individual motors and 70 circuit boards.

The robot appeared in Washington, D.C., in support of a documentary about the project, “The Incredible Bionic Man,” which is airing on the Smithsonian Channel.

Source: Discovery

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@deskeng.com.

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