Meaning of Bionic

The English word bionic, composed of the words bio and electronic, came to our language as bionic. The concept may refer to the production of artificial organs that, by electromechanical mechanisms, imitate the functioning of natural ones. Bionics also refers to the action of applying the knowledge of the phenomena of biology to mechanical and electronic systems.

Engineering, design and architecture are some of the sciences and disciplines that draw on the solutions and knowledge of bionics. Its resources make it possible to simulate the behavior of living organisms.

It can be said that bionics starts from the principle that living beings are comparable to machines of great complexity. They have numerous instruments of different types that allow them to react to stimuli. That is why it is possible to aspire to the creation of machines that work in a way similar to that of living organisms, and even that have the ability to “learn” new behaviors.

Leonardo da Vinci is often named as a forerunner of bionics, as he applied his knowledge of living things to the design of different kinds of devices and machines. Over the years the development of prostheses and artificial organs became common, while progress was also made in the field of artificial intelligence (which seeks to create systems that can solve different situations by themselves, autonomously).

It is known as bionic engineering to the specialization of engineering focused on the production of technological tools that simulate the operation or shape of living beings. Its mission is that electronic systems and biological systems can work together.

This term is part of the title of one of the most successful television series of the 70’s: The Bionic Woman. Emerged as a spinoff of Man of six million dollars (name given in Spain The Six Million Dollar Man, which in other Spanish – speaking countries is called The Nuclear Man).

The series tells the story of a professional tennis player in the prime of her career named Jaimie Sommers, played by actress Linday Wagner, who suffers a terrible parachute accident with serious consequences, such as the loss of her legs and an arm. An American government official and a doctor, Oscar Goldman and Rudy Wells, respectively, carry out an experiment in which they implant two orthopedic legs, an arm and an ear that turn her into a being with superhuman capabilities.

The bionic woman was capable of running at speeds far greater than that of a normal human being, had enormous strength in her brace arm, and could hear conversations at great distances with her new ear. The development of the series was in charge of Kenneth Johnson, a screenwriter who created the character in 1975. The broadcast began the following year, and spanned three seasons (the first two on ABC, and the last, by NBC, two big-name television networks).

Despite the short duration of the series and belonging to a very remote era, many fans still remember and pay tribute to it. For example, in 2000 an episode of the second season of Futurama, an animated television series by Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, was called The Cryonic Woman, in which the life of a young pizza delivery man who gets trapped in a cryogenic capsule by mistake and wakes up a millennium later.


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