The bio-sword is a non-fatal weapon used for training and sporting purposes.
The bio-sword is tied in with a chest harness, consisting of a heart target that the opponent is to strike (in very much the same fashion as fencing, except gladiatorial) in order to win the game. Once this target is struck, the bio-swords of both players are deactivated.
The bio-sword is computer controlled, which ties in with the user's central nervous system in order to increase swiftness and agility. Users may double-wield bio-swords.
As cadets at the Colonial Fleet Academy, Adama and Baltar dueled with these swords in front of a public audience. Baltar attempts to cheat by modifying his own bio-swords to remain active even after his heart target is struck, although Adama still defeats him (All Things Past and Present).