A team of scientists in the U.K. have brought together a host of prosthetic human body parts to create "Rex."
Prosthetic replacements for human limbs have been around for a long time but usable parts have been slow to market. Fully functional and life-like bionic parts can be life-changing for those who have been injured at war, in accidents, or born without crucial anatomy.
With that in mind, a team at Shadow Robot set out to replicate as much of a human body as possible - resulting in the most complete bionic man to date.
Six-foot tall "Rex," so named for its robotic exoskeleton, was built to star in a U.K. TV show called "How to Build a Bionic Man."
Using $1 million worth of artificial appendages and organs loaned by cutting-edge labs and manufacturers from around the world, the team was able to replace between 60-70 percent of a human's body parts, according to Rich Walker, managing director of the Shadow Robot team in an interview with The Independent.
Some of Rex's features are a self-learning arm wired with artificial intelligence, glasses that work with an artificial retina to communicate via microchip with the brain, a battery-powered heart and bionic ankles, according to The Telegraph.
Rex also has a prosthetic face, hips, knees and feet. It awaits delivery of internal organs such as a pancreas, a set of lungs and a bladder that are still being worked on.
And although they have made great strides in development of Rex, the researchers say they are a long way from making a fully functional replacement human.
Due to their complexity, certain human parts, such as the stomach and brain, may never be viable contenders for prosthetic replacement, although Walker surmises that scientists "in the regenerative medicine community are working on that."
That said, Walker emphasizes that creating a robotic human with artificial intelligence and complete prosthetic parts is not the goal he and his team are working toward.
"This is a showcase for prosthetic parts, it shows exactly where we've got to go in being able to replace parts of a human," he said to the Independent.
Rex will make its public debut on Feb. 7, as an exhibit in London's Science Museum. The exhibit runs through March 11.
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