We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

How Close are We to Developing Cyborgs?

Michael Anissimov
Updated: May 21, 2024

The answer to this question depends on what we consider a true cyborg. The standard definition for the term is merely a human that is integrated with machine parts. By some intuitive definitions, even a person wearing glasses or driving a car would be considered a cyborg, though usually it refers to a closer integration than this. Even by a more rigorous definition, anyone with an implant with moving parts — such as those of us with pacemakers, cochlear implants, or heart pumps — are true cyborgs.

So, by many definitions, developing cyborgs has already been done. However, when we hear the word "cyborg," we often think of the cyborgs in science fiction, which tend to have more extensive synergy with mechanical components than a person with a pacemaker. Cyborgs in science fiction may have enhanced bones and muscles so they can run faster and have more endurance, or artificial eyes or other sensory organs to enhance perception. Developing cyborgs and the consequences that result from them are a science fiction staple.

Developing cyborgs of the more science fictional sense has not really been achieved yet, though it begs the question, will we ever say, "now true cyborgs actually exist?" As technology advances incrementally, each new step — unless it's a huge breakthrough — may seem relatively mundane. But judging from the science fiction of 2008 and earlier, it seems like impressive cyborgs, as in human beings with artificial eyes, ears, muscles, bones, organs, and/or advanced neural prosthetics may be developed sometime between 2030 and 2040, maybe even earlier.

Research that contributes to developing cyborgs has been in progress for decades already. We have printers that can print synthetic bones, though these lack the porous structure found in real bones. We even have printers that can print tissue cell-by-cell, but these are relatively slow. Researchers are quickly making progress towards exceptional synthetic eyes, which already are advanced enough to allow a previously blind person to carefully drive a car around in a research institute parking lot. Artificial noses are also under development, and some progress has been made.

Developing cyborgs is an incremental process that will take decades, but billions of dollars in research funds are already directed towards enabling technologies. The market demand for replacement body parts is in the billions of dollars, and the humanitarian value of this technology is practically uncalculable. More futuristically, some users of cyborg technology may not settle for mere therapies, and instead employ the technology to enhance themselves in some way. This opens a huge battery of ethical questions which we are just beginning to discuss in earnest today.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Anissimov
By Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism to his articles. An avid blogger, Michael is deeply passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. His professional experience includes work with the Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Lifeboat Foundation, further showcasing his commitment to scientific advancement.
Discussion Comments
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology...
Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.