The Cytran Project is a major Viridian scientific undertaking to create post-human cyborgs, consisting of a living brain encased inside a fully-autonomous self-contained biomimetic body. Since its inception in February of 2009, it has grown to become a critical cornerstone of Viridian civilization.
Extensive biomimetics would be combined with animatronics techniques, to give cytrans the external appearance of being natural flesh-and-blood beings. This is critical for improved social interaction, with each other as well as with their human peers, preventing the "machine apathy" effect.
Creating a "cytran" (the word is a portmanteau of "Cybernetic Transplantation") would be done for numerous varied purposes, such as repairing what would otherwise be a terminal condition (injury or disease) by any other medical procedure... but also commonly as a form of enhanced self-expression (to make the external appearance match the internal self-image).
Participation in the project is purely voluntary, and only available to Viridians. Project scientists and engineers believe the technology can be ready for human trials around the middle of the 21st century, depending on how quickly or slowly Viridia develops in the coming decades.
Models & variations
Cytrans are generally designed to closely mimic the appearance of organic beings... most commonly intelligent beings of popular fiction, taken from a wide range of sources. While these models shift and change over time, adapting to new technology and the desires of the people, this remains a cornerstone principle of the technology, and one of the defining unique features of what cytrans are.
Generally, designs for cytrans are not made to look too human, to avoid the "uncanny valley" effect — anthropomorphic "furries" are a popular alternative to human form (and it doesn't hurt that a lot of people interested in becoming cytrans are also furry fans). Fur also helps to hide the seams between sections of skin.
Models that replicate the appearance of humans are also being considered, and may be made available for purchase on the public market... depending on regulatory approval.
Similar projects elsewhere
- America: Darpa's "Avatar" project, begun in 2011
- Russia: the 2045 Strategic Social Initiative, begun in 2012