A life-like robot boy that is capable of bleeding, crying, and even calling out for his mother will look to help the pediatricians of the future as they undergo medical training.
Robots have a wide range of applications in various industries, especially in the medical field. The robot boy is just one of the many ways on how the technology will help in keeping people healthy.
Meet Pediatric HAL: The AI-Powered Patient Simulator
Pediatric HAL, created by Gaumard Scientific, merges two of the most important technologies of the modern age: robotics and artificial intelligence.
HAL is described as “the world’s most advanced pediatric patient simulator,” and after watching a video uploaded by Gaumard, that is hard to refute. HAL is capable of shedding tears, bleeding, and urinating, and can even go into anaphylactic shock or cardiac arrest. The robot also has a pulse, his pupils shrink when light is shined on them, and calls out for his mother when subjected to extreme stress.
Medical trainees will be able to practice a variety of procedures on HAL, including cutting open his throat to insert a tracheal tube, jolting him to consciousness with a defibrillator, and connecting him to an EKG to monitor his heart.
“It’s the closest experience to real world pediatric emergency care available today,” said Gaumard executive vice president John Eggers in a statement. HAL presents a departure from the test mannequins that pediatricians in training have been using, but it also requires a massive investment of $48,000 for each robot.
According to Heart Center of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital medical director for simulation Lillian Su, perhaps in the future, medical training robots like HAL will also be able to interpret and replicate emotions. That will add an emotional layer to training, which will help prepare medical students for life as a doctor.
Applications Of Robots
Robots have invaded the medical industry due to their many possible applications, including the QTrobot, which helps in the development of children with autism.
The current uses of robotic technology, however, are nearly limitless, going beyond the medical field. For example, robots can now be bought as companion animals, such as the $2,899 robot dog Aibo by Sony. Robots are now also being used in the food industry, like with the startup restaurant Creator that uses robots to cook food for customers.
The future will surely be a better place with the help of robots, as long as people remain responsible in how the technology is developed and used.