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Scientists create world's first 'breathing, sweating, shivering' robot

Scientists create world's first 'breathing, sweating, shivering' robot

The robot can perform a whole range of human bodily functions

Scientists have successfully created the world's first 'breathing, sweating, shivering' robot.

Researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) have redesigned the first walking manikin that generates heat, shivers, walks and breathes like a human.

The idea is that the test robot, named ANDI, can better help scientists understand how the human body reacts to heatwaves.

The high-spec piece of tech mimics a whole range of human bodily functions.
Christopher Goulet/ASU

The Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus project was funded by an NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant, custom-built for ASU by the company Thermetrics.

The high-spec gadget is able to mimic a whole range of human bodily functions with an impressive 35 different surface areas across its manikin body that are all individually controlled with temperature sensors, heat flux sensors, and pores that actually produce sweat.

"ANDI sweats, he generates heat, shivers, walks and breathes," explained Konrad Rykaczewski, principal investigator for the ASU research project.

He continued: "There’s a lot of great work out there for extreme heat, but there’s also a lot missing.

"We’re trying to develop a very good understanding of how heat impacts the human body so we can quantitatively design things to address it."

ANDI is able to mimic human bodily functions with an impressive 35 different surface areas across its manikin body.
Christopher Goulet/ASU

"You can't put humans in dangerous extreme heat situations and test what would happen," highlighted said atmospheric scientist, Jenni Vanos, an associate professor at ASU's School of Sustainability.

She added: "But there are situations we know of in the Valley where people are dying of heat, and we still don't fully understand what happened.

"ANDI can help us figure that out."

Rykaczewski echoed: "You don't want to run a lot of these [tests] with a real person. It's unethical and would be dangerous."

The news makes for an exciting breakthrough as ANDI is the first first thermal manikin in existence that can now be used outdoors, enabled by a unique internal cooling channel, to help researchers better understand why heat stress on the human body takes place and specifically what can make extremely hot weather fatal in some cases.

There are currently 10 ANDI manikins around the world.

Many of the robots are surprisingly owned by athletic clothing companies to use for garment testing.

But, ASU’s ANDI is only one of two models currently being used by research institutions.

There are currently 10 ANDI manikins around the world.
Christopher Goulet/ASU

And the scientific breakthrough don't stop there as, this summer, researchers will pair ANDI with ASU’s biometeorological heat robot, named MaRTy, to work together and gain a higher understanding into human sweating mechanisms.

Ariane Middel, assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, explained: "MaRTy can tell us how the built environment modifies the amount of heat that hits the body, but MaRTy doesn't know what happens inside the body.

"MaRTy measures the environment, and then ANDI can then tell us how the body can react."

"We can move different BMI models, different age characteristics and different medical conditions [into ANDI],” said Ankit Joshi, an ASU research scientist leading the modelling work and the lead operator of ANDI.

"A diabetes patient has different thermal regulation from a healthy person. So we can account for all this modification with our customised models."

Featured Image Credit: Christopher Goulet/ASU

Topics: Technology, US News, World News, News, Science