Sunday, 28 September 2014

Biomechatronics & Being Superhuman!

What are biomechatronics?  Is it something like the television series The Six Million Dollar Man who was "rebuilt" with superhuman qualities after he was severely injured in a crash?  
The Six Million Dollar Man
Image credit: ABC Television

In case you didn’t know or have forgotten - his right arm, both legs and left eye are replaced with "bionic" implants that enhance his strength, speed and vision.  He can run at speeds of 97 km/h and his eye has a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities.  He has the power equivalent of a bulldozer! 

Biomechatronics however, is NOT about enabling people with superhuman strength.  It is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses biology, neurosciences, mechanics, electronics and robotics. Its scientists attempt to make devices that interact with human muscle, skeleton and nervous systems with the goals of assisting or enhancing human motor control that can be lost or impaired by trauma, disease or birth defects.  

Army prosthetic
Image credit: U.S Army
New York City Marathon
Image credit: Howard N2GOT

In other words, biomechatronics is to enhance the quality of life of the physically challenged and not to create a race of superhumans!  Its core objective is altruistic.

What if there were sinister plans to create a race of superhumans? World domination! Do you think it’s possible? How will normal or regular humans survive in such an environment?

Biomechatronics - superhumans literally or figuratively?

Shared by Azni
Learning Specialist, Petrosains

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