Professor Kevin Warwick (Doctor of Technology)

World’s First Cyborg Honoured by University

Professor Kevin Warwick, the man who became the world's first cyborg, was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Technology on Friday 15 July by Robert Gordon University at His Majesty's Theatre Aberdeen.

Kevin WarwickKevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, where his research combines artificial intelligence, robotics and biomedical engineering.

His ground-breaking Cyborg Project caught the world's attention. Through the neuro-surgical implantation of a device into his arm, he became the world's first Cyborg, a being with both biological and artificial parts. Using this neural interface Kevin was able to operate an intelligent artificial hand. Connected to the Internet he was able to control the hand when located in a different continent and obtain feedback from sensors in the finger tips. With a similar implant in his wife's arm, this novel communication offered Cyborg telepathy via the Internet.

The Cyborg Project has featured in many documentaries, most notably Tomorrow's World and 20th Century Fox's "The Making of I Robot", and he was one of the UK's Top 6 Scientists in Channel 4's "Living Science". Kevin gave the Year 2000 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on "The Rise of the Robots" in which he presented the exciting field of robots, cyborgs and artificial intelligence to the general public. Kevin was an inspirational speaker at the launch of the multi-disciplinary IDEAS Research Institute at Robert Gordon University in May 2010.

This often controversial research has had a profound impact in both robotics and biomedical engineering. Cyborg capabilities now offer new opportunities to people with disabilities such as neural control of wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs. In pioneering work with neurosurgeons, dramatic effects have been achieved by using intelligent computer methods to predict the onset of Parkinson's tremors and so activate a brain implant that stops the tremors. Among his many awards, MIT's Future of Health Technology Award is one that recognises his contribution to biomedicine.

The innovation and impact of his research, together with his significant contribution to the public understanding of science, make Kevin Warwick a passionate and highly inspirational promoter of leading-edge technologies.

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