Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cyborgs, Androids and Robots, oh my!

Sometimes I forget how much of a sci-fi nerd I am until I start talking to other people about my writing projects. My latest features a cyborg. I was explaining this to a group of writers, and one of them asked, "So it's part human?"

I looked at her like she'd just asked me if I had two eyes. 

Of course a cyborg is part human. That's what a cyborg is! But at that point I realized not everyone is as nerdy as I am, and also, general media uses these terms interchangeably and often, incorrectly, so here are the very basic breakdowns.

Cyborg: a being that is both manufactured and organic.  One of my favorite examples...Darth Vader. He is a cyborg. Part man. Part machine. Technically, so is an old guy with a pacemaker. Think about that for a second.

Android: an android is a completely mechanical being made to look and act like a human. Because I am such a dork, and I use Star Wars repeatedly for my examples, think C-3PO. 

Robot: a completely mechanical entity that may or may not look human. Ie, an android is a robot, but a robot is not always an android. For my last Star Wars example, our little R2D2 is a robot, but not an android, so calling it a droid is technically incorrect assuming that's short for android. (But we'll forgive George Lucas for his genius.)

So to recap with pictures...



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