Monday, December 3, 2007

Robot Helps Dentists in Training

From Pink Tentacle

Simroid, a robotic dental patient with an eerily realistic appearance, has been spotted at the 2007 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo. Designed primarily as a training tool for dentists, the fembot patient can follow spoken instructions, closely monitor a dentist’s performance during mock treatments, and react in a human-like way to mouth pain. Because Simroid’s realistic appearance and behavior motivate people to treat her like a human being, as opposed to an object, she helps dental trainees learn how to better communicate with patients.

Simroid’s body and control system was developed by Kokoro Company Ltd., creators of the Actroid receptionist robot. Like her Actroid sister, Simroid is equipped with a system of air-powered muscles and soft silicone skin. However, she has something the Actroid does not — sensitive teeth. Thanks to a mouth loaded with sensors, she knows when her dentist-in-training makes a mistake. And to express her pain, she grimaces, moves her hands and eyes, and says, “That hurts.”

Kokoro says that for an extra touch of realism, Simroid exhibits a gag reflex when instruments are inserted too far into her mouth.

Post a Comment