Biorobotics is a term that loosely covers the fields of cybernetics, bionics and even genetic engineering as a collective study.
Biorobotics is often used to refer to a real subfield of robotics: studying how to make robots that emulate or simulate living biological organisms mechanically or even chemically. The term is also used in a reverse definition: making biological organisms as manipulatable and functional as robots.In the latter sense biorobotics is referred to as a theoretical discipline of comprehensive genetic engineering in which organisms are created and designed by artificial means. The creation of life from non-living matter for example, would be biorobotics. Because of its mostly theoretical status it is presently limited to science fiction; the actual field is in its infancy and is known as synthetic biology and bionanotechnology.
The replicants in the film Blade Runner would be considered biorobotic in nature: (synthetic) organisms of living tissue and cells yet created artificially. Instead of microchips, their brain would be based on ganglions/artificial neurons.
A small group of cyberpunk and mecha anime, manga and role-playing games have used the term bioroid sometimes generally for a partially or fully biological robot or for a breed of genetically engineered human slaves, similar to the replicants in Blade Runner. In 1985 the animated Robotech television series popularized the term when it reused the term from the 1984 Japanese series The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross. The 1988 adventure game Snatcher also used the term “bioroid”. In the Appleseed manga, published in 1985 by Masamune Shirow, roughly one half of the utopian city Olympus’s population are bioroids. Also based on Shirow’s work, the animated television series Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG features an early-generation bioroid character, Proto. The Realians from the Xenosaga game series could be an example of bioroids. The animated series Phantom 2040 used the alternate term “biot”.