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Realistic Robot Designed For Dental Students 59

Zothecula writes "Tokyo's Showa University has unveiled its latest robotic dental patient. The University engaged robotics company Tmsuk to manufacture the realistic bot which is designed to simulate a number of typical patient gestures and responses, allowing dental students to experience what it's like to work with a real patient."
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Realistic Robot Designed For Dental Students

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  • So did Japan finally solve the problem of poverty or are they just planning on letting poor people go without dental care?

    Having dentistry done by students is a major way poor people are able to afford any dental care. This seems like it would deprive them of that, and at the same time cost the dental school a fortune to buy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Japan's national healthcare system (which doesn't require the poor to pay into) includes dental care...

    • The poor who have rare neuropathies in their faces (like trigeminal neuralgia) do not relish the idea of being worked on by dental students. Sure, dental students working on the poor is useful, but it's not the best solution to the problem. Universal healthcare is really the best solution to that problem, although having dental students train on volunteers is still useful, though perhaps starting the training on robots would avoid some unfortunate accidents by newbies.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        I agree universal healthcare would be a far better solution. I think even such a system would allow student to train on simple cases and volunteers. Sadly, the US population and other places as well, does not believe the economically disadvantaged have enough value to pay for such a thing out of taxes. Often the folks most vocal about this will cry about the value of human life when limiting another persons rights, but never when it might cost them a penny to provide medical care to that same person.

        • I have seen the sig "I like paying taxes; with them, I buy civilization." I do not think enough people have pondered that statement.

          When I am next employed*, I will be more than happy to pay my taxes. After all, my fiance (who has a rare facial neuralgia) has benefitted from taxpayer money via state programs.

          * = If you're in the delmarva / manhattan area, I'll work like a slave** for you to support myself and my fiance. Email me! 0.707107 at gmail.
          ** = Obviously, with all her health problems, she has st

    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

      You want them to exercise on real people? I'd hope they'd use these for training until they can be trusted with a real patient.

    • In Japan with mandatory national health insurance the cost of a tooth extraction is about $50 and cavaties/cleaning is about $20. You can get a cavity filled for the cost of like a six pack of tallboys.

  • Nah - They wouldn't do that next..... Would they?
  • Can it do the "I still feel that nerve and you hit it!" floppy chair dance? []
    NSFW? Starts at about 5:00

  • ...designed to simulate a number of typical patient gestures and responses

    Like "Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!"?

    I thought at first it said "stimulate a number of typical patent responses and gestures" trolling, perhaps?

  • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @11:33AM (#36661654)

    Wow, talk about coincidences. A couple days ago I was flying on ANA from Narita to Chicago, and the in-flight entertainment system had a video about how TMSUK came to be. They were showing the very dental simulator talked about here. TMSUK was started by a very colorful guy who had liberal arts background and wanted to be an archeologist (among other things). TMSUK was a spinoff company from what a production line machinery (conveyor etc) business IIRC.

    Side note: those "inspirational" videos on ANA's in-flight entertainment are quite well done. On my way there I watched the one about the ABC Cooking School and the lady who started it. Quite ingenious of a system they have. While in Japan, I ran into one of those cooking schools in a shopping center, so I signed up for a lesson online using Google translate (ha!). Nothing beats learning cooking in Japanese, without anyone speaking more than a couple words of English (and me knowing no Japanese either). It was an experience I'd repeat in a heartbeat, though.

  • Does that mean it makes unintelligible speech-like noises when the student asks a question with tools still in the mouth of the "patient?"
  • "Is it safe? "

    (A big Whoooosh to all who reply w/o knowing the source of that line)

  • Take a look at the pictures in the link... and tell me what our fellow engineers really intended with this fembot...
  • For me, this lies within the uncanny valley [].

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault