A British scientist who became the ‘world’s first full cyborg’ has passed away on the age of 64.
Peter Scott-Morgan decided to challenge what it meant to be human when he refused to just accept his fate following a diagnosis of motor neurone disease in 2017.
He said he desired to push the boundaries of what science can achieve so decided to increase his life and turn into fully robotic.
His family confirmed the news of his passing on his Twitter account this morning.
‘To Peter’s amazing rebel supporters: With a broken heart, I’m letting you all know that Peter passed peacefully surrounded by his family, and people closest to him,’ they wrote.
‘He was incredibly pleased with all of you who supported him, and his vision of adjusting the best way people see disability.’
A British scientist who became the ‘world’s first full cyborg’ has passed away on the age of 64. Peter Scott-Morgan decided to challenge what it meant to be human when he refused to just accept his fate following a diagnosis of motor neurone disease in 2017
His family confirmed the news of his passing on his Twitter account this morning
HOW DID HE BECOME A CYBORG?
Peter Scott-Morgan underwent a complex journey to increase his life within the face of motor neurone disease.
- He built a life-like avatar so he could express emotions after his facial muscles wasted away.
- A top-end wheelchair let him move around quickly, stand and lie flat.
- Laser eye surgery gave him perfect computer-using vision.
- Eye-tracking technology enabled him to operate computers.
- A feeding tube was inserted directly into his stomach.
- In a similar way, a catheter and colostomy bag took care of his toileting needs.
- He had his larynx removed to stop saliva entering his lungs.
- A voice box — along with his pre-recorded speech — talked for him.
The world-renowned roboticist underwent a series of incredibly complex and dangerous operations and procedures during his journey to turn into a cyborg.
This included developing a remarkably life-like avatar before he lost any of the muscles in his face used to create expressions.
The avatar was designed to reply using artificially intelligent body language.
‘The animated movements are performed on a digital talking head generated from a scan of Dr. Peter Scott Morgan’s own head,’ explained Embody Digital, who developed the avatar.
Dr Scott-Morgan also explored using eye-tracking technology to enable him to regulate multiple computers using only his eyes.
A lot of his followers have responded to the news of his passing on Twitter this morning.
One user wrote: ‘So sorry to listen to this. He did such amazing work, with such a vital vision about living with MND.’
One other added: ‘Peter was an inspiration to able bodied in addition to disabled people. My deepest condolences to his family members.’
And one said: ‘What an inspiring person and what a terrific loss. Our world is richer due to him.’
Dr Scott-Morgan’s condition began deteriorating earlier this 12 months, when his eyes stopped closing consequently of his MND.
‘YOU MAY WONDER WHY I actually have been so quiet for two months. Unusually for MND my eyes have stopped closing which makes them so dry that my eye-tracking stopped working!’ he tweet in April.
The ultimate procedure in his robot transition in 2019 saw him successfully trade his voice.
He underwent a laryngectomy, meaning he lost his physical voice, but in doing so, he avoided the added danger of saliva potentially entering his lungs, as a result of his condition.
Dr Scott-Morgan had previously labelled this treatment as the tip of Peter 1.0 and the beginning of Peter 2.0.
He confirmed his laryngectomy on Twitter, writing: ‘Just home from 24 days in Intensive Care.
Dr Scott-Morgan’s condition began deteriorating earlier this 12 months, when his eyes stopped closing consequently of his MND
The world-renowned roboticist underwent a series of incredibly complex and dangerous operations during his journey to turn into a cyborg
‘All medical procedures now complete and an enormous success. My mini-ventilator keeping me respiratory is a LOT quieter than Darth Vader’s.’
‘All speech is synthetic but ultimately feels like me again. Long research road ahead but in great spirits.’
Speaking of his transition on his website, he said: ‘After I say ‘Peter 2.0’, I mean ‘a Cyborg’.
‘And after I say “Cyborg”, I do not just mean any old cyborg, you understand, but by far probably the most advanced human cybernetic organism ever created in 13.8 billion years.
‘I’m scheduled to turn into the world’s very first full Cyborg.
‘Almost all the things about me goes to be irreversibly modified – body and brain.
‘It goes without saying that every one my physical interaction with the world will turn into robotic. And naturally, my existing five senses are going to be enhanced. But much more importantly, a part of my brain, and all of my external persona, will soon be electronic – totally synthetic.
The avatar helped Dr Scott-Morgan express himself with facial expressions when he lost motion in his face
‘From then on, I will be part hardware / part wetware, part digital / part analogue.
‘And it won’t stop there; I’ve got more upgrades in progress than Microsoft. Mine is not only a version change. It is a metamorphosis.’
The scientist also explored using eye-tracking technology, to enable him to regulate multiple computers using just his eyes.
As well as, he also had a remarkable top-end wheelchair, which he said on Twitter was ‘brilliantly engineered’ and allowed him to face, lie flat and go fast.
He underwent further pioneering surgery in what he believed to be the primary ever operation of its kind, to insert a feeding tube directly into his stomach, a catheter directly into his bladder and a colostomy bag directly onto his colon.
The Scott-Morgan Foundation which Peter, right, arrange along with his husband Francis, left, seeks to make use of artificial intelligence, robotics and other high-technology systems to rework the lives of those ‘restricted by age, ill-health, disability, or other physical or mental drawback’
He had a remarkable top-end wheelchair, which he said on Twitter was ‘brilliantly engineered’ and allowed him to face, lie flat and go fast
Dr Peter Scott-Morgan, 61, along with his husband Francis
These procedures helped him to take care of any potential feeding and toileting problems, helping him to keep up his independence.
Despite the risks of operations and being terminally sick, Dr Scott-Morgan said he was not fascinated by survive his condition, and as an alternative intended to ‘thrive.’
He remained positive and infrequently, humorous, seeing his situation as a probability to really embrace scientific capabilities.
The Scott-Morgan Foundation which he arrange along with his husband, Francis, seeks to make use of artificial intelligence, robotics and other high-technology systems to rework the lives of those ‘restricted by age, ill-health, disability, or other physical or mental drawback.’
On his website Dr Scott-Morgan said this vision is removed from only a dream.
He wrote: ‘We’re inside touching distance of adjusting – all the things. I’m not dying – I’m transforming!
‘That is terminal disease like you’ve got never seen it before. And so far as I’m concerned, bring it on.
‘MND hasn’t even begun to bring me to my knees. And even long after I’m locked In, I’ll still be standing tall.’
Motor Neurone Disease (ALS): No known cure and half of victims live just three years after diagnosis
There is no such thing as a cure for MND and the disease is fatal, nevertheless the disease progresses at different speeds in patients.
Individuals with MND are expected to live two to 5 years after the symptoms first manifest, although 10 per cent of victims live a minimum of 10 years.
The NHS describes motor neurone disease (MND) as: ‘An unusual condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness that gets worse over time.’
The weakness is brought on by the deterioration of motor neurons, upper motor neurons that travel from the brain down the spinal cord, and lower motor neurons that opened up to the face, throat and limbs.
It was first discovered in 1865 by a French neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, hence why MND is usually often known as Charcot’s disease.
Within the UK, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is known as Motor Neurone Disease, while within the US, ALS is known as a selected subset of MND, which is defined as a gaggle of neurological disorders.
Nevertheless, in keeping with Oxford University Hospitals: ‘Nearly 90 per cent of patients with MND have the mixed ALS type of the disease, in order that the terms MND and ALS are commonly used to mean the identical thing.’
Weakness within the ankle or leg, which can present itself with trips or difficulty ascending stairs, and a weakness in the power to grip things.
Slurred speech is an early symptom and should later worsen to incorporate difficulty swallowing food.
Muscle cramps or twitches are also a symptom, as is weight reduction as a result of leg and arm muscles growing thinner over time.
MND is difficult to diagnose in its early stages because several conditions may cause similar symptoms. There may be also nobody test used to determine its presence.
Nevertheless, the disease is frequently diagnosed through a means of exclusion, whereby diseases that manifest similar symptoms to ALS are excluded.
The NHS says that MND is an ‘unusual condition’ that predominantly affects older people. Nevertheless, it caveats that it may possibly affect adults of any age.
The NHS says that, as of yet, ‘it is just not yet known why’ the disease happens. The ALS Association says that MND occurs throughout the world ‘with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries and may affect anyone’.
It says that war veterans are twice as prone to develop ALS and that men are 20 per cent more prone to get it.
Lou Gehrig was one in all baseball’s preeminent stars while playing for the Yankees between 1923 and 1939. Referred to as ‘The Iron Horse,’ he played in 2,130 consecutive games before ALS forced him to retire. The record was broken by Cal Ripken Jr. in 1995
Lou Gehrig’s Disease
In addition to being often known as ALS and Charcot’s disease, MND is continuously known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Lou Gehrig was a hugely popular baseball player, who played for the Latest York Yankees between 1923 and 1939.
He was famous for his strength and was nicknamed ‘The Iron Horse’.
His strength, popularity and fame transcended the game of baseball and the condition adopted the name of the sportsman.
He died two years after his diagnosis.