Showa Hanako 2: A realistic robot for novice dentists (w/ video)

June 30, 2011 by Katie Gatto, Phys.org weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Going to the dentist is something that we all have to do. Going to a novice dentist, and his or her drill, is something that most of us would rather avoid but they have to practice somewhere. Luckily for us researchers at Showa, a Japanese university, have been working on a solution to this thorny issue. They have created a robot, the Showa Hanako 2 that is able to not only mimic the kind of movement and gestures that a dentist may experience in the real world.

The robot is able to blink, flinch, sneeze, cough and gag, simulating some of the issues that a real dentist may have to contend with while working on his or her human patients.

The Showa Hanako 2 actually goes much farther lengths to create a realistic experience for the training practitioner. The robots mouth is designed to be as realistic as possible, down to the way that it feels. The creators of this dental bot got help from an unusual source in order to create that realism. Orient Industry, a company that is recognized as one of Japans top makers of sex dolls, was consulted to help the research team make up realistic skin, and mouth areas. The system is also equipped with a basic program for ; this allows the training dentist to carry out some basic conversation with the during the exam or procedure.

Like any good patient Hanako can give the dentist feedback about his or her performance. Unlike most patients however, she can store and analyze the student's performance, giving then a detailed amount of experience on the computer. The will be on sale in Japan later this year. No details about pricing have been released at this time.

Explore further: Japan unveils willing dental patient -- a robot

Related Stories

Disclosure of medication can save a patient's life

November 25, 2008

Do you regularly take aspirin or antiplatelet medications? Do you know whether or not these drugs should be stopped before dental procedures or surgeries? According to a study published in the May/June issue of General Dentistry, ...

Recommended for you

Female golden snub-nosed monkeys share nursing of young

February 21, 2019

An international team of researchers including The University of Western Australia and China's Central South University of Forestry and Technology has discovered that female golden snub-nosed monkeys in China are happy to ...

When does one of the central ideas in economics work?

February 20, 2019

The concept of equilibrium is one of the most central ideas in economics. It is one of the core assumptions in the vast majority of economic models, including models used by policymakers on issues ranging from monetary policy ...

In colliding galaxies, a pipsqueak shines bright

February 20, 2019

In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion galaxy, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour surrounding material. These two monsters should be the most luminous X-ray sources in sight, but a new study using ...

Research reveals why the zebra got its stripes

February 20, 2019

Why do zebras have stripes? A study published in PLOS ONE today takes us another step closer to answering this puzzling question and to understanding how stripes actually work.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

I_Dont_Have_A_Name
not rated yet Jul 11, 2011
Wow. I'm not okay with this. I like going to my on campus dental cleanings. The women are gorgeous, intelligent, and clean my teeth for cheap. Why the hell are these necessary?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.