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…

When a Dental Plan Could Save Your Life

New Dental Robot Gags and Flinches

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:

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhzbFaNueKU&rel=0

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.

5 Comments
  1. This robot gets tired too? Amazing! I guess we’re not far from seeing cyborgs walking the streets and living with us human beings. Is this the complete version of the Hanako Showa robot?

    • Hi Doris,
      You know how it is in science – there is never a “complete” version of anything. :-) There’s always room for improvement! But this is the most cutting-edge version to date.

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