Cyborg vs. Android: What is the difference?

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Difference between Cyborg and Android

Cyborgs and android are practically ubiquitous in movies and TV shows in the science-fiction genre, but most people are unaware of what their differences are. In this article we compare the differences between the two.

Cyborg
Android

Definition

Androids are simply robots that are made to look and act like human being. Some androids may actually display approximations of human emotions. Cyborgs on the other hand are living organism in which robotic or mechanical parts have been installed in order to extend their capabilities and/or functions. For most such examples, the robotic parts are closely integrated into the organism and often difficult or even impossible to remove.

While most androids have a decidedly human form, cyborgs do not have to be human-like in appearance, or even human at all. In fact, animals that have non-organic attachments installed also technically fall under the category of “cyborg”. Even something like a prosthetic limb for an animal can be considered sufficient to warrant the title "cyborg". More recently, cyborg insects have been introduced that can be controlled from outside the body.

In Everyday Life

While cyborgs and androids have been part and parcel of the entire sci-fi scene ever since they were conceived, they have only fairly recently been introduced as integral parts of society. There are currently several research efforts that delve into robot creation, with ASIMO being one of the most notable examples. This model is capable of performing a wide variety of human movements–including running and walking–all without losing its balance. Cyborgs have actually been in existence for longer than androids, since people with mechanical and electrical implants such as pacemakers and robot limbs technically fall under the category of ”cyborg.

Key Differences

One important difference between the two is that cyborgs are basically just living beings, while androids aren't human at all. An android that breaks down can be repaired and reactivated, as is the case with virtually any other machine. If a cyborg dies on the other hand, there is often no way that to come up with organic parts that can be repaired. The non-organic parts may be scavenged for eventual reuse, while the organic part deteriorates beyond recovery.

Similarities and Differences

Cyborg

  • Aren't necessarily human-like in appearance, or even human at all
  • Part organic and part machine
  • Have been around for several years
  • May be animals
  • Are always living beings
  • Cyborg insects have been introduced that can be controlled from outside the body
  • Parts are closely integrated into the organism and are often difficult or even impossible to remove

Android

  • Robots that are made to look and act like human beings
  • Some may actually display approximations of human emotions
  • Are not alive
  • Frequently appear in sci-fi writings
  • Can be repaired and reactivated in most cases

Which scifi concept seems most realistic?
  • Cyborg
  • Android
 
 

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