Japanese dentists-in-training may have to be more careful about where they poke and prod. Roboticists from Showa University in Japan are releasing an advanced robot that looks, feels and responds like a human patient. Check out the video:
First-year dental students typically don't have much access to human patients because they haven't yet developed the required skills. However, working on a mannequin head or robot doesn't prepare a student for human reactions or unexpected situations. Roboticists from the university hope to solve that problem with the Showa Hanako 2.
One expert says that it's easy for a student to detach emotionally if they're working on a robot "patient." The Showa Hanako 2 looks and acts a lot more like a real human than its previous counterparts (learn more about Hanako 1 here), giving dental students a more realistic training situation. This robot can:
Talk, interact, build vocabulary and store responses
Gag and flinch
"Get tired" of holding its mouth open
Sneeze and cough
Provide feedback on the student's performance via a computer
Developers hope this new robot will better prepare students for working on live patients.
Source: Found on the American Student Dental Association blog, Mouthing Off.