Finally, there’s something in the world of dentistry more terrifying than a root canal.
A group of medical students in Tokyo have begun practicing emergency medical procedures on a creepy new robot, designed to look and act just like a real-life girl.
The lifelike machine — named Pedia_Roid — stands at 5-foot-1-inch high and automatically reacts to motions that would cause an actual human significant pain.
Pedia_Roid cries and struggles to break free if one of the medical students messes up a procedure, replicating how an actual child would respond while in the dentist’s chair.
The disturbing doll even secretes artificial saliva and can unexpectedly throw up.
“Medical skill and ability is first built upon failure,” Koutaro Maki, vice director of Showa University Dental Hospital, told Reuters. “One’s skills only improve once they have failed once. Therefore, we figured that a robot is the only way that would allow students to learn from their failures without inconveniencing patients.”
The creepy robot was developed by Showa University’s Department of Orthodontics.
Experts at the university have previously manufactured two other models, making Pedia_Roid a “third-generation” creation.
The new doll features far more advanced features, with instructors able to use a separate touch panel controller to inject unpredictable events such as sneezing, coughing and even vomiting.
Despite how creepy the lifelike doll looks, students say they’re thrilled to practice on Pedia_Roid.
One student told Reuters: “This robot is quite different from those up to this point in that its movements are very close to that of a real patient. One actually feels the difficulty of working on it as a patient, as it has a very lifelike presence to it.”
Showa University is still currently using real humans for its final clinical exams, but they soon hope to have robots take over the task of being poked, prodded and drilled by senior students before they graduate and become certified dentists.