Trivia

Hard

People Who Modify Their Bodies With Cybernetic Enhancements Are Known As?

Grinders
Wet Hackers
Splicers
Genomers
A 2011 photo of Kevin Warwick.
Andy Miah/Flickr

Answer: Grinders

It was only a matter of time (and waiting for the advancement of technology) before people working and living on the edges of scientific innovation began using technology to modify their bodies. These people, known as “grinders”, are the do-it-yourselfers of the biohacking world, practicing hands on body modification to link cybernetic devices to their bodies.

While there are many such grinders out there experimenting in total to relative anonymity, there are certainly some high profile cases that have cropped up in the news over the years. Perhaps the most accomplished grinder, in terms of academic pedigree and achievements in grinding, would be engineer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Kevin Warwick of Coventry University in the United Kingdom.

Not only has he been involved in research in the field for decades, but in the late 1990s, he had an RFID transmitter implanted under his skin to control doors, lights, heaters, and other computer-controlled devices based on his proximity. Later, in 2002, he had a complex array of electrodes implanted in his body (and connected to an external “gauntlet” that housed supporting electronics) that allowed Warwick to control a remote robotic arm via internet-based connectivity.

Since Warwick’s experiments, others have experimented with the implantation of sensors, electrodes, and other means to extend the functionality of their organic bodies via cybernetic enhancement.

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