From human bite to robot jaws

Jun 30, 2009
This is the Chewing Robot concept. Credit: Dr. Kazem Alemzadeh

The UK spends around £2.5 billion each year on dental materials to replace or strengthen teeth. The Chewing Robot is a new biologically inspired way to test dental materials and it will be shown to the public for the first time at this year's Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition [30 June to 4 July].

Researchers at the University of Bristol's Department of Mechanical Engineering in collaboration with the Department of Oral and Dental Science have developed the Chewing Robot to study dental wear formation on human teeth.

Dental elements, such as crowns and bridges, are made from well-known metals, polymers and ceramics but their dental wear properties are often poorly understood. Clinical trials examining the wear of human teeth are expensive and time-consuming. By the time a new material has been tested, it is often obsolete.

This is a CAD Model of the Chewing Robot Credit: Dr. Daniel Raabe

The movements and forces involved in natural chewing action have been replicated using the new chewing simulator -- the Chewing Robot. The robot is based on a three-dimensional mechanism with six linear actuators that reproduce the motion and forces sustained by teeth within a human mouth.

A human jaw is a powerful and complex piece of natural machinery, allowing a person to chew in many different ways. The lower jaw and the move with six degrees of freedom, translating and rotating along each of the Cartesian axes.

Dr Kazem Alemzadeh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering recognised that the Stewart-Gough platforms have been used to provide and control the same six degrees of freedom in aircraft simulators, and so he proposed the Chewing Robot concept based on just such a platform. The design and development of the Chewing Robot was carried out by Daniel Raabe, a PhD student in the Department of .

This is the Chewing Robot concept. Credit: Drs. Kazem Alemzadeh and Daniel Raabe

The robot has the potential to dramatically improve the process of developing and testing new dental materials.

Daniel Raabe said: "By reproducing natural bite forces and movements, the Chewing Robot can help improve and accelerate the process of developing new dental restorative materials that may someday be found in a person's mouth."

Source: University of Bristol (news : web)

Explore further: ESA investigates an alternative, environmental-friendly method of corrosion resistance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Placement of dental implants results in minimal bone loss

May 12, 2009

Dental implants are frequently used as a replacement for missing teeth in order to restore the patient's tooth function and appearance. Previous research demonstrates that the placement of a dental implant disrupts the host ...

Mouthwash doesn't affect fillings, crowns

Jan 12, 2007

A daily swish of mouthwash, which can contain oils such as eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, alcohol and sorbitol, doesn't affect dental work, a U.S. study found.

Seeing through tooth decay

Aug 22, 2008

Dental caries afflict at least 90% of the world's population at some time in their lives. Detecting the first signs of this disease, which can be lethal in extreme cases, just got easier thanks to work by researchers in India ...

Recommended for you

Seeing through the fog (and dust and snow) of war

2 hours ago

Degraded visibility—which encompasses diverse environmental conditions including severe weather, dust kicked up during takeoff and landing and poor visual contrast among different parts of terrain—often ...

The oscillator that could makeover the mechanical watch

Sep 18, 2014

For the first time in 200 years the heart of the mechanical watch has been reinvented, thereby improving precision and autonomy while making the watch completely silent. EPFL researchers have developed an ...

User comments : 0