Simroid, the silicone-skinned, pneumatically-powered female patient robot designed to help train dental students, recently appeared on the Fuji TV show Idainaru Miraizukan. (Watch video.)
In addition to highlighting Simroid's ability to interact with dentists and react to mouth pain, the show features an interview with Dr. Naotake Shibui of the Nippon Dental University in Tokyo, who helped develop the robot with engineers from Kokoro Co., Ltd. According to the interview, Simroid is modeled after a 28-year-old woman, and her fear of dentists and sensitivity to pain have earned her the nickname "Pain Girl" (Ita-gaaru). Asked why Simroid is female, Shibui explains that female patients must be treated with more sensitivity than male patients. With sensors embedded in her chest, Simroid can teach dentists-in-training to pay close attention to where they place their elbows.
Simroid's primary purpose is to help dental students improve their patient communication skills.