Here is the list of the world’s most famous
real-life cyborgs! This is Bertalan Mesko and you are watching
the channel of The Medical Futurist. Let’s think about the Cybernetic future of
human mankind. We could have brain implants that could improve memory or any kind of cognitive
skills. We could have implanted magnets or RFID chips in our fingers to replace passwords
and keys. We could have exoskeletons boosting our strength, we could be faster, jump higher
so we could augment all different kinds of human capabilities. Let’s see what kind of
real-life cyborgs we know of today who might show a good example of where we should find
a balance between using technologies with our body but remaining a human being.
The first is Neil Harbisson who has a specialized electronic eye, rendering perceived colors
as sounds on the musical scale. So it means it lets him “hear” color. He said “It’s not
necessary to hack into the body to become a cyborg. We are all cyborgs already.” He
is an artist born with achromatopsia, or extreme colorblindness that meant he could only see
in black-and-white, he is now capable of experiencing colors beyond the scope of normal human perception.
The second is Dr. Kevin Warwick who is a cybernetics professor in the UK’s University of Reading.
He has experimented with different electronic implants since 1998 such as installing a microchip
in his arm which lets him operate lights, heaters, computers and lights remotely. He
and his work have become one. He is the founder of Project Cyborg using himself as the guinea
pig, he’s on a mission to become the world’s most complete cyborg.
Number 3. is Jesse Sullivan who became a cyborg when he got equipped with a bionic limb, which
was connected through nerve-muscle grafting. Aside from having control over his limb with
his mind, he can also feel temperature as well as how much pressure his grip applies.
Number 4. is Nigel Ackland. After losing a part of his arm during a work accident, he
got upgraded. His new arm has a hand that can independently move to grip even delicate
objects. He controls the arm through muscle movements in his remaining forearm. The range
of movement is truly extraordinary. He can independently move each of his five fingers
to grip delicate objects, or even pour a liquid into a glass.
Number 5. is about Jerry Jalava who lost a finger in a motorcycle accident, and decided
to have a 2GB USB port embedded into his prosthetic. It doesn’t upload any information directly
into his brain though. He is the perfect example of how you don’t need to be a robotics mastermind
to become a cyborg; you can pretty much do it yourself.
Number 6. is Cameron Clapp who was 14 when he collapsed and fainted along a railroad
track. When the train passed, he unfortunately lost both of his legs plus an arm. He got
fitted with a couple of prosthetic legs controlled by his brain with the help of a microprocessor.
Since then, he has become an athlete and an amputee activist.
Professor Steve Mann who designed a headset that is outfitted with a number of small computers
and through it, he can record and play video and audio. He was one of the, if not the first,
cyborgs in the world. Claudia Mitchell who became the first woman
to become a cyborg when she was outfitted with a bionic limb. Her robotic arm is similar
to the one installed on fellow cyborg Jesse Sullivan.
Stelios Arcadiou, also known as Stelarc, who is a performance artist who believes that
the human body is obsolete. To prove this, he’s had an artificially-created ear surgically
attached to his left arm. In another show, he hooked up electrodes to his body to allow
people to control his muscles through the Web.
So they are the world’s most famous real-life cyborgs. If you want to read more about cyborgs
and the future of life, you can read about these things in my new book, The Guide to
The Future of Medicine. And if you know about other cyborgs who show a good example, please
share them with me. Thank you!