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April 20, 2008

BehindTheMedspeak: Simroid feels your pain

Kathleen Hom's April 15, 2008 Washington Post Health section article described this new dental robot (above) as follows.

    She'll Tell You If It Hurts

    The figure in the dentist's chair can say "ouch" and her eyes may flash in pain but, trust us, she's not feeling a thing: She's an animated robot with a high-tech set of pearly whites. Students and resident doctors are currently testing the robot, dubbed Simroid, at Tokyo's Nippon Dental University.

    University professor Naotake Shibui and Japanese robotics firm Kokoro spent more than two years developing Simroid. The robot moves realistically and has lifelike silicon skin and teeth equipped with sensors that can detect mistakes that might cause a real patient pain.

    Until recently "dental education put emphasis on the technique of a dentist, like how well can he carve and drill," Shibui said during an interview in Japanese that was later translated. "But we have to think about the feelings of the patients.... Simroid allows you to train to do that."

    Shibui expects the price tag for Simroid to be 10 million yen (roughly $98,000).

April 20, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Does it stop when you flinch?

And will this...
put you out of business, Joe?

Posted by: Skipweasel | Apr 20, 2008 4:44:30 PM

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