We've finally created the robot version of Hell: force one to sit, eternally, in a dentist chair and have it's mouth operated on. Could we make it worse? Why not give the bot sensitive teeth, eh? Unfortunately for the Simroid, Kokoro went the whole nine yards when the company designed it to act as a responsive training aid for dentists — teeth and all.
Simroid is designed to simulate a human patient. It can follow spoken orders and react to what's happening. Sensitive teeth allow the robot to know where the trainee is poking around and if said trainee blunders. Simroid responds in appropriate discomfort, visibly grimacing, moving its arms, and telling the doc-hopeful that it hurts. It also has silicon skin that's soft to the touch and air-powered muscles enable its realistic gestures. The designers found that a Simroid garners a better response from dentist than an inert dummy.
Kokoro, a division of Sanrio (known for making Hello Kitty products), showed the Simroid at the 2007 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, which pretty much sounds like the coolest place on Earth. Click through for a video of the Simroid getting some work done on its pearly whites.