Lying on a dentist’s table, a humanoid robot screams, rolls its eyes, and kicks its feet. But this is no toy. It’s a complex automaton designed to mimic medical symptoms and classic children’s responses—while helping train the next generation of doctors and dentists.
Engineer Hiroki Takimoto helped develop the 50-pound robot. It’s named the Pedia_Roid. The ’bot is a collaboration between a Japanese robotics startup called tmsuk (lowercase t) and a nearby dental school. Pedia_Roid can simulate a five- to six-year-old child’s responses when receiving dental treatment. It even adapts to replicate a youngster’s medical condition.
“Be kind one to another, tenderhearted.” (Ephesians 4:32) It’s a straightforward directive. Yet sometimes, it’s hard to fulfill. Robots like Pedia_Roid can help people develop compassion and the skills to show love to each other in action.
A tablet programmed with varying medical conditions lets a user send signals to the robot’s joints. Air cylinders inside enable the ’bot to move its entire body, mouth, eyes, and tongue. The figure displays a range of physical reactions and facial expressions. Dentists-in-training can even draw fake blood from the robot’s hand.
Director of tmsuk’s engineering division, Yusuke Ishii, says Pedia_Roid helps fill an important gap in clinical dental training: the treatment of children.
“It is difficult to get experience in pediatric dentistry,” Ishii explains. “There are no opportunities to practice. In addition, there is the risk that children will move wildly . . . when their medical condition suddenly worsens.”
Human-like robotic reactions include wriggling legs, twisting arms, breathing changes, facial flushing, and pupil dilation. Further, the robot can mimic signs of serious medical emergencies such as convulsions and heart failure. The kid-bot allows trainees to gain experience they can use in similar critical situations, according to a tmsuk engineer.
The system can be used for training in various fields of pediatric medicine, including emergency care.
Moving forward, tmsuk forecasts that workers in other childcare industries could use Pedia_Roid to train for emergency situations. This could even include elementary school teachers and daycare providers.
Yoichi Takamoto is chairman of tmsuk. He calls the scientists and engineers at his company “pioneers.” He envisions “a future where humans and robots are co-existing.”
Does Takamoto’s vision sound realistic? What exciting inventions do you imagine the future holds during your lifetime?
Why? Robots can be valuable tools, especially when they give humans insight into treatments and compassion for those hurting or in need.
Okay... This is absolutely
Okay... This is absolutely terrifying. I don't think I'd want to practice operating on this thing. I guess it depends on how humanly it moves.
personally, I think that this is so cool! it's sooooooooooooooo amazing!
This is wyn
This is so cool (and also slightly terrifying).
amazing, weird, scarry
1 It's amazing they can create something like that.
2 It's weird it looks/acts like a child
3 It's scarry that it's SO realistic looking ⊙﹏⊙∥
Robots as Patients?
I think it’s pretty cool. I’m just thinking of how it might affect their (the trainees) ability to do their jobs well. I mean, will it make them a little less compassionate or careful because it’s not a real person? Hmmm…
Nope! After looking at the
Nope! After looking at the slideshow, definitely creepy!
I can see why this would be helpful. Bots can definitely help human scientists. But I am also wary about the use of them people's every day lives. I wonder if a couple years from now, bots would perform surgery on people. That would freak me out.
this is not creepy I don't know why you guys are saying
this is awesome I would love to practice on this why are you scared (the blushing part: well I don't know about that)
I agree with BROOKE B
it is weird,amazing,and creepy (mainly because it can blush why do they need that)
the picture above looks like they are putting toys in it's mouth
that is weird
* Cough, cough * I don't think they have ever seen someone blush. =/ I guess if it's helpful... it's still only a LITTLE creepy... Let's just say I'm just glad I am not going to be a dentist. :)
that is legit nightmare fuel
that is legit nightmare fuel
Interesting and Scary
The fact that roboticists are able to make robots that act like humans is incredible!! But the way that they look I really creepy!! *chill runs up spine*
@ Elijah S
I totally agree with that
Yeah that is mildly insanely terrifying. It belongs in a horror movie. Brr...
it's Zack @Brooke b
it's not really realistic
I personally agree with Belwyn and Brook.
Its soooo cool and creapy i cant stopp looking at it
that blush is terifing!!