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The Bionic Man Visits New York

Update Date: Oct 12, 2013 10:47 AM EDT
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The "Incredible Bionic Man" has come to New York. This artificial man is the center of a new documentary that will air on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. on the Smithsonian Channel. The documentary will follow the work of many engineers over the years that tried to build a man purely from artificial parts.

"[It's] an attempt to showcase just how far medical science has gotten," Richard Walker stated according to the Associated Press reported by ABC News. Walker is the managing director of Shadow Robot Co. and the lead roboticist of the project.

The bionic man is made out of several different parts that came from 17 manufacturers. Some of these body parts include a working kidney and a circulation system to cochlear and retina implants. After acquiring all of these body parts, Walker stated that this will be the first time that all of the parts are assembled and showcased.

According to Walker, the bionic man has from 60 to 70 percent human functionality. At six and a half feet tall, the robot can step, sit and stand like any real man but with the help of a Rex walking machine. This machine is also used by people who cannot walk due to spinal injuries. On top of these limbs, the robot also has a working heart, which uses an electronic pump that enables the organ to beat and circulate the artificial blood, which carries oxygen. The robot also has a working kidney.

The man was modeled after a 36-year-old social psychologist, Bertolt Meyer from the University of Zurich. Meyer was born without a lower left arm and uses a bionic prosthesis. The engineers had taken a three-dimensional scan of Meyer's face and recreated it for the robot. Even though the robot is quite advanced, he is still missing very important parts. The robot has no digestive system, liver, skin or brain.

"We wanted to showcase that the technology can provide aesthetic prostheses for people who have lost parts of their faces, for example, their nose, due to an accident or due to, for example, cancer," Meyer said.

The bionic man travelled to the United States via two metal trunks. The man's artificial parts were mostly donated and have a value of around $1 million.

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