Wonderful robotic world of bionics

Rise of the machines? New research could pave the way to machines built from biological materials.

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    Battlestar Galactica

    New scientific research moves a step closer to cyborgs -- robotic humaniods -- like those from the TV show "Battlestar Galactica."
    Sci-Fi Channel
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    DARPA's bionic arm

    The high-tech whizzes at DARPA, the military research arm of the Defense Department, displayed some breakthrough technology for space, ocean, robotics and ground war at a Congressional Tech Showcase in Washington earlier this month. But the most inspiring tech was an innovation underway for America’s veterans who return home with upper limb loss. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab Modular Prosthetic artificial limb, part of DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program, is among the most sophisticated arms ever made. The artificial limb moves like the real thing, and it can do just about everything. Built over the course of five years, it makes it possible to play the piano, toss a ball, pick up a cup and sip some coffee from it. Click here for more.
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    Bionic ear can hear

    With a 3-D printer, a petri dish and some cells from a cow, Princeton University researchers are growing synthetic ears that can receive — and transmit — sound. Click here to find out more.
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    'Bionic man'

    Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, after all. We have the technology. The term "bionic man" was the stuff of science fiction in the 1970s, when a popular TV show called "The Six Million Dollar Man" chronicled the adventures of Steve Austin, a former astronaut whose body was rebuilt using artificial parts after he nearly died. Now, a team of engineers have assembled a robot using artificial organs, limbs and other body parts that comes tantalizingly close to a true "bionic man." For real, this time. Read more here.
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    The bionic bunch

    ARGO Medical’s Rewalk suit is living up to its promise: to revolutionize the way paraplegics and other people with disabilities live. Most other types of technologies cause an unnatural, stiff walk closer to a robot than to the way humans stride. ReWalk helps to create a more natural and human-like step. Find out more about what ARGO is doing to help paraplegics here.
    ARGO Medical Technologies
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    World’s only bionic eyes

    The world’s only bionic eyes -- implants that can bring sight to the blind -- keep getting better. Created by Second Sight Medical Products and recently approved by the FDA, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System uses an implanted camera and computer to convert the world at large into electronic signals, enabling the brain to see. For more information, click here.
    Second Sight
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    Army tests bionic suits

    The U.S. Army is finishing a series of independent tests on suit prototypes that soldiers could wear under their uniforms and help them carry combat loads that can often exceed 100 pounds. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — the lab the Pentagon depends on to develop next generation equipment — has spent two years working toward developing a suit that supplements a soldier’s muscles to help the soldier carry his gear and equipment over all types of terrain. Learn more about the technology helping our soldiers here.
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    New prosthetic: Man controls bionic leg with thoughts

    A 32-year-old man who lost his leg below the knee after a motorcycle accident four years ago now has a robotic prosthesis he can control with his mind, according to a new report of his case. While similar technology has allowed amputees to control bionic arms with their thoughts, Zac Vawter is the first amputee with a thought-controlled bionic leg, the researchers say. Read more about Vawter's story here.
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
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