Science fiction question of the day

What’s the difference between an android and a cyborg?

I know that C3PO is an android, and that the Terminator is a cyborg; but what is the difference between them?

I’ve noticed that between science fiction worlds, robotic people (are robots a distinct category as well?) are either one or the other of these two kinds, but both do not exist in the same world.

Cyborgs seem more like american action movies with violence (universal soldier), where andoids have more typical science fiction connotations (battlestar galactica)

I think antoher difference is that a cyborg has a neural net processor, while an android has a positronic brain.


2 thoughts on “Science fiction question of the day

  1. On etymological grounds, I make the following claims:

    An “android” is a robot that is humanoid in form (“andro” = man, “oid” = form, shape, from “eides”)

    A “cyborg” is a contraction of “cybernetic organism”. This could mean a robot, or it could mean an organic-robotic hybrid a la the Borg and other such hokey sci fi constructions. In common usage, the term drifts much more heavily towards the hybrid interpretation over the original meaning, however.

    So a cyborg can be an android but need not be, and an android is certainly a cyborg in the original sense of the word, but not in the more common usage.

    Best wishes!

  2. The usage as I have observed it is as follows:

    Androids are robots that look and act in a human like way.

    Cyborgs are beings that are part biological (normally human) and part machine (normally electronic).

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