TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Inspiring football coach, bionic man, Robert Redford

Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:14 PM ET

TODAY's highlights: A football coach talks about his program that lets special needs students experience being on the team; a bionic man takes a few steps; Robert Redford opens up about his new movie.

1. Bionic humans are no longer just a television fantasy: A bionic man, constructed entirely from 28 prosthetic parts, made an appearance on TODAY Tuesday, taking a few slow steps alongside Swiss social psychologist Bertolt Meyer. All of the parts that make up the bionic man, which include over a million sensors, are already being used in humans.

"We wanted to find out how much of the human body we can replace already today, so what if we got all the different spare parts that we already have today and put them together in one piece?'' Meyer told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. 

Video: It took three years, but scientists have finally assembled a fully functioning bionic man made entirely of prosthetic limbs and parts already being used on humans.

2. At Paulding County High School in Georgia, special needs students are getting a chance to serve as honorary football team members each week, wearing their own jerseys and taking part in game-day activities, like pep rallies and running out of the tunnel. The “Player of the Day” program was started by football coach Scott Hamilton, who wanted to make an impact on the student body while spreading compassion among the young men on his team. 

"It just gives them a chance to be part of something they normally don't get to be a part of,'' Hamilton told TODAY's Gabe Gutierrez. 

Video: Paulding County High School coach Scott Hamilton has been spreading joy to special needs students through a “Player of the Day” program that enables them to particpate in game-day rituals. Parents say they are seeing the coach’s compassion spread to the athletes. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

3. Robert Redford chatted about his upcoming film “All Is Lost” on TODAY, telling Matt Lauer that the nearly dialogue-free movie is “pure cinema.” "It wasn't reliant on special effects, digital. It wasn't going to be heavy in post-production, it was just pure. I loved that," Redford said. 

In the movie, Redford plays a nameless sailor struggling to survive at sea after his boat collides with a shipping container.  

Video: The legendary actor and director tells TODAY about his new film, “All Is Lost,” in which he plays a nameless man who gets lost at sea, and explains how he’s managed to stay centered in an industry that tends to objectify movie stars.

4. NBC announced Tuesday morning that funny ladies Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are slated to host the Golden Globes for the next two years, following up their crowd-pleasing performance at the 2013 awards. In honor of the occasion, take a look at some of the duo’s funniest moments together, from playing Palin and Hillary to anchors on SNL’s Weekend Update. 

5. Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morales discussed high school student Erin Cox, who was demoted from being captain of her volleyball team and suspended from five games after picking up her intoxicated friend from a party after work. Even though Cox was not drinking, her school said she broke a zero-tolerance policy toward alcohol.

The anchors asked TODAY viewers to tweet their opinions to #OrangeRoom, and many agreed that the punishment was unnecessary and potentially irresponsible. "Suspending and demoting a team captain for being a leader to her peers sends a dangerous message to kids," Christian Moore wrote

Video: TODAY’s Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morales discuss the honor student who got pulled from playing several volleyball games after her high school said she broke a zero-tolerance policy by driving home a drunk friend who had called her from a party.

And that's TODAY's Takeaway!