Robots umong us

TechnovelgySimroid ( Simroid robot dental patient) is a robotic dental patient to be used for training dentists. Simroid is able to follow verbal instructions from the trainee dentist, and can react in a human-like (eerie, but human-like) way to mouth pain. As you can see in the video below, she plays her part very convincingly.

Simroid’s realistic appearance is due to her air-powered muscles and soft silicone skin; she shares these characteristics with Actroid, the well-known receptionist android. Both of these fembots owe their existence to Kokoro Company, Ltd.

Simroid has a number of special features that distinguish her from her sister; she has a mouth loaded with sensors to provide feedback to her students. To express pain after an unfortunate poke, Simroid grimaces, moves her hands and eyes and says “That hurts.” If the student dentist pokes an instrument too far down Simroid’s throat, she exhibits a gag reflex. Although Simroid does not have as many facial expressions as EveR2-Muse, the South Korean humanoid robot, or the gesturing range of Repliee Q1, she seems successful in conveying discomfort.

 

 

The intent is to provide students with some training in a context that emphasizes treating the patient as a person (and not just a set of teeth).

Simroid’s sensors are not limited to her mouth. In the event that a young dentist has read about how we will soon be marrying robots, and jumps the gun a bit with Simroid, she has a sensor on the breast area that keeps track if she has been touched inappropriately.

I do believe that Simroid and robots like her will have an increasingly important role in training health care professionals. However, I’m not sure whether I want my dentist trained to work best with patients that are not quite human.

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