Meet Rex, the Bionic Man with limbs, blood circulation and organs

Starting Thursday, the Science Museum in London will put a Bionic Man on display. Designed and built by top robotics experts for a Channel 4 documentary called ‘How to build a bionic man’, Rex is a walking display of the very latest techniques in robotics and bionics.

Rex was built using approximately £ 1 million worth of limbs and organs harvested from the world’s leading laboratories. He has artificial organs (kidneys, pancreas, spleen) and a functioning blood circulatory system. He can see thanks to the latest miniature camera’s implanted in the retina. Cochlear implants allow him to hear. And yes, that is artificial skin on his face:

Rex can walk and talk, and according to this picture, also seems to enjoy a beer now and then. If asked, he will tell you that he likes Ralph Lauren and rap music.

It’s impressive and slightly spooky what science can already do, but there seems to be some work left to get Bionic Man out of the uncanny valley.

The Channel 4 show is hosted by Dr. Bertolt Meyer, a Swiss social psychologist who has a prosthetic arm himself (see picture).

Channel 4 will air the first episode this Tursday. It has clips on its site from the show, but they’re not accessible outside the UK. We’ll have to wait a bit to see him in action.

[photos: Channel 4]

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).