Machines, Robots, Androids, Cyborgs – What’s the Difference?

Stranded600x900Veronica: It’s my pleasure to have my friend Cara Bristol with a guest post today. We’re celebrating the release of her newest science fiction romance Stranded With the Cyborg, which is on my kindle as we speak! I always enjoy Cara’s books (hot, sexy, full of adventure….)

Cara: I was first introduced to cyborgs in Star Trek:The Next Generation with “the Borg.” The Borg were former humans who had been turned into robots through a computer interface that networked them. They acted and thought as one unit. The Borg were the bad guys.

Now, in sci-fi romance, cyborgs have joined werewolves and vampires as former villains who have become the new heroes.

So what’s the difference between machines, robots, androids and cyborgs? Based on my research and opinion, these are my definitions:

A machine is a mechanical device that performs a function(s). A cotton gin, an automobile, and a typewriter are machines.

A robot is a computerized machine that can react to the environment, but it doesn’t “think” beyond its programming or feel emotion. Current example: the Roomba vacuum cleaner. Roomba reacts to its environment. If it hits an obstacle, it goes round it. It avoids stairs, and when it’s done cleaning, it returns to its base. A regular vacuum (a machine) can’t do that.

An android is a robot with a human appearance. Fictional example: The Terminator. I’ve read that the terminator was a cyborg, but I consider him to be an android, because (correct me if I’m wrong) it was never mentioned that he’d been human.

A cyborg, short for cybernetic organism, is a biomechatronic (biologic, mechanical, electronic) being. Cyborgs are human, but have been altered with mechanical and computer parts. They think and feel, but have enhanced abilities. The term “cyborg” was first coined in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline in Astronautics Magazine, talking about the enhancement that might be needed to mankind to survive in space. Example: Brock Mann in Stranded with the Cyborg. After an attack that nearly killed him, he was fitted with several prostheses and had a microcomputer implanted in his brain.

The Story for Stranded with the Cyborg:

Penelope Aaron, the former Terran president’s daughter, regrets how she got Agent Brock Mann booted from the security force. But now that she’s an interplanetary ambassador about to embark on her first diplomatic mission, she still doesn’t want him tagging along. Especially since he seems to be stronger, faster, more muscled, and sexier than she remembers. And pretending to be her husband? This mission couldn’t get more impossible!

Ten years ago Penelope Isabella Aaron had been a pain in Brock Mann’s you-know-what. Much has changed in a decade: “PIA” as he code-named her, has grown up and is about to attend her first Alliance of Planets summit conference, and Brock has been transformed into a cyborg after a near-fatal attack. Now a secret agent with Cyber Operations, a covert paramilitary organization, Brock gets called in, not when the going gets tough, but when the going gets impossible. So when he’s unexpectedly assigned to escort Penelope to the summit meeting, he balks at babysitting a prissy ambassador. But after a terrorist bombing, a crash landing on a hostile planet, and a growing attraction to his protectee, Operation: PIA may become his most impossible assignment yet.

Excerpt

“Ten years have passed. Penelope is different now,” Carter said.

Brock doubted that. “Does she know about me?”

“That you’re a cyborg? Of course not. She hasn’t been told anything about the program or even that you’re the one who’s been assigned to her.”

“Yeah, spring it on her. That will go over well.” He could envision the tantrum, and, after she calmed down, the scheme she would devise to circumvent the decision. The last time he’d seen her, she’d been emerging from his quarters half-dressed, a triumphant smile tilting her lips. Shortly thereafter, two fellow agents had come to arrest him.

President Aaron had exonerated him, the transcripts from the investigation had been sealed, and he’d been offered reassignment. Instead, he’d taken a position with an anti-terrorist investigative organization. His unit got attacked; his fellow operatives had died. Carter, who’d been working with Cy-Ops all along, had swooped in and saved his ass.

“I’m not saying I’ll do it, but, hypothetically, if I had a computer meltdown and agreed, what would be my cover story? I couldn’t tag along as her bodyguard because that would unsettle the Xenians.”

Carter poured another shot of Cerinian brandy and downed it. He met Brock’s gaze dead-on. “You’d accompany Ambassador Aaron as her husband.”

“Oh, hell no!”

Buy Links:

Amazon US     Amazon UK    Amazon AU    ARe   Barnes & Noble

Author bio

Multi-published, Cara Bristol is the author of more than 20 erotic romance titles. She writes science fiction, contemporary, and paranormal erotic romance. No matter what the subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.

Cara Bristol web site/blog

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5 comments on “Machines, Robots, Androids, Cyborgs – What’s the Difference?

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