Cyborg can be defined as an organism that has enhanced ability due to the integrated of some artificial components or technology. The concept of a man-machine mixture was widespread in science fiction before World War II. As early as 1843, Edgar Allan Poe described a man with extensive prostheses in the short story “The Man That Was Used Up”. In 1911, Jean de La Hire introduced the Nyctalope, a science fiction hero who was perhaps the first literary cyborg.
Actual cyborgization attempts :
Yuval Noah Harari, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said- “ Humans may upgrade themselves to become cyber within the next 200 years merging man and machine to potentially live”. Although many technology companies have announced the plans to fuse machines and humans. The fact is the transformation has already begun. Here are some fascinating example from mankind who are already famous for being part human, part cyborg.
He’s the first person to have a completely artificial vision system, Neumann’s electronic eye is connected directly to visual cortex through brain implants enabling him to see lines and shapes. Latest reports say his vision has since then been restored.
The world’s first ‘eye-borg’ to perceive colour as a sound on a musical scale, has an antenna attach it to his skull that converts light waves into sound waves, making it possible for the otherwise colour-blind cyborg artiste to conduct colour concerts, among other things. Also he co-founded the Cyborg foundation to help humans become cyborgs and different cyborg rights.
Often called ‘The blade runner’ Pistorius created history as the first double amputee to compete against able body runner at international level in 2007. Since ‘the fastest man on no legs’ has competed at World Championships in Athletics 2011, which he won; Summer Olympics 2012 for able-bodied and won a gold medal at the Summer Para Olympics 2012.
A cybernetics professor at University of Reading (UK ), he is one of the world’s foremost aspiring cyborgs, famous for experimenting with implants, including installing a microchip in his arm which allows him to operate select electrical gadgets.
Jesse Sullivan & Claudia Mitchell
Sullivan is equipped with bionic arm, which is connected through nerve-muscle grafting. But that’s not the real achievement. Sullivan can control the limb with his mind and experience warmth, coolness and the pressure of his grip. Claudia, the world’s first woman cyborg after getting outfitted with bionic limb.
The US-based company Backyard Brains released what they refer to as the “world’s first commercially available cyborg” called the RoboRoach. The project started as a senior design project for a University of Michigan biomedical engineering student in 2010, and was launched as an available beta product on 25 February 2011.
The RoboRoach was officially released into production via a TED talk at the TED Global Conference; and via the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter in 2013, the kit allows students to use micro stimulation to momentarily control the movements of a walking cockroach (left and right) using a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone as the controller. Several animal welfare organizations including the RSPCA and PETA have expressed concerns about the ethics and welfare of animals in this project. In the late 2010s, scientists created cyborg jellyfish using a microelectronic prosthetic that propels the animal to swim almost three times faster while using just twice the metabolic energy of their unmodified peers. The prosthetics can be removed without harming the jellyfish.