But fast-forward 40 years and the idea of a part-man, part-robot doesn't seem so extraordinary after all.
Just last week, it was reported that former policewoman Nicki Donnelly, 33, paralysed from the waist down after a driver smashed into her police car, is now able to walk her daughter to school, thanks to a robotic exoskeleton that does the walking for her.
And today, the Mail reveals that robotic arms controlled by thought are now being developed in Britain.
Here, we look at the many ways scientists are using bionic technology to transform patients' lives...
For people with sight loss, there is hope that they could one day benefit from extraordinary new technology to help them 'see' again.