'Cyborg' professor honoured

An academic described as the “world’s first cyborg” has received an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

Professor Kevin Warwick, currently based at Coventry University, made his name with his research into artificial intelligence, biomedical systems and robotics.

His experiments in implant technology included inserting a microchip into his arm that triggered a greeting from computers when he arrived at work.

And his interest in communication between computer and nervous systems saw Prof Warwick and his wife Irena install matching implants that recorded signals from their central nervous system.

Prof Warwick, now a deputy vice-chancellor at Coventry, has also carried out work using intelligent computer methods to predict the onset of Parkinsonian tremors.

He joined hundreds of students at a ceremony in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall today to receive an honorary doctorate of techonology.

Prof Warwick, who previously held positions at Oxford, Newcastle, Warwick and Reading universities, said: “I am absolutely delighted and feel very humble to be given this honour.”

The university’s other honorary degree recipients this year are novelist Louise Welsh, who will receive a doctorate of arts tomorrow, and the astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who will receive a doctorate of science on Wednesday.

Professor Andrea Nolan, Napier’s principal and vice-chancellor, said: “It is a tremendous honour to see people who have made such significant contributions to the worlds of science and the arts joining our celebrations.”

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