Android vs Cyborg
One can say simply that the material used to make android and cyborg decides the difference between them. Now, if you have watched the latest blockbuster Avatar by James Cameron or got a chance to see Star Wars movies from the past, you know how obsessed our movie makers are with creatures labeled as Androids and Cyborgs, especially in sci-fi movies. The concepts of android and Cyborg have evolved from the fiction works of writers over the last century and have become household names today. Though there are many similarities in the way these two creatures behave in the writings and characters shown in movies, there are many differences between an android and a Cyborg that will be talked about in this article.
What is an Android?
An android is a creature that has been designed in the lab. He is totally synthetic but has the ability to simulate human thought, behavior, and appearance. He even has emotions and reacts just like human beings. If you want to have examples, you can think of Data from Star Trek and Roy, one of the replicants from the movie Blade Runner. There are many who think that Terminator was a Cyborg, whereas the reality is that, he is a special type of android. If you remember well, once the skin is peeled off, he is a complete android. There is nothing human under that synthetic skin that is given to him so that he can blend in with the humans. Androids, as they are depicted in films, have emotions and behavior just like humans, but their intelligence is what it is, an artificial intelligence. Though they may look like living creatures, they are not, and remain a robot, which is nothing but an automated machine having some extra capabilities.
What is a Cyborg?
On the other hand, a Cyborg is essentially a human being, who has some biological replacements with synthetic components. Do you remember Steve Austin from Six Million Dollar Man? At the same time, Borg from Star Trek was a Cyborg, and if you have difficulty in understanding, here is the reason.
A Cyborg is not a robot in the strict sense of the word. He must be a fusion of an organism with some functional parts that are synthesized. One essential requirement to be a Cyborg is to have natural brain, though it can have an artificial heart to classify as a Cyborg. So, technically speaking, if a person is deaf and makes use of a hearing aid for this purpose, he is a Cyborg. Though we say a cyborg is essentially a human, there can exist cyborgs that are not human as well. For example, the bear Shardik in the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King is a cyborg. It is a combination of a live bear and a machine. However, we call it a cyborg because it is a living organism with mechanical parts.
What is the difference between Android and Cyborg?
• An android is a creature that has been designed in the lab. He is totally synthetic but has the ability to simulate human thought, behavior, and appearance. On the other hand, a Cyborg is essentially a human being, who has some biological replacements with synthetic components. This definition pretty much sums up the difference between androids and Cyborgs.
• A cyborg can also be in another form than human. A cyborg can be any other animal as long as it is a combination of an organism and mechanical parts.
• An android looks like a human. An android also is programmed to have emotions. But, they do not actually have emotions as they are machines. On the other hand, a cyborg has emotions that are true as a cyborg is essentially a human who has put some synthetic parts to his body to support himself.
• For an android to be called an android it should look like a human. Otherwise, it will be just another robot. However, a cyborg does not have to be always in the form of a human being.
• Androids are fully mechanical while cyborgs are only partly mechanical.
As you can see when you understand what each term really means, it is not much difficult to understand which is which.
- T-800 from Terminator by popculturegeek.com (CC BY 2.0)
- Borg from Star Trek by El Carlos (CC BY-SA 3.0)