Saturday, July 30, 2005

Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner...From Repliee Q1

The sentence sounds familiar? Stan, the suicidal and fanatic character in Eminem's colloboration with Dido, is now reincarnated as a perfect manikin patient for medical studies. But who is Repliee Q1?

From BBC news:

Japanese develop 'female' android

Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised - a "female" android called Repliee Q1.

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University says one day robots could fool us into believing they are human.

Repliee Q1 is not like any robot you will have seen before, at least outside of science-fiction movies.

She is designed to look human and although she can only sit at present, she has 31 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor, programmed to allow her to move like a human.


Learning from the perfect patient

Stan D. Ardman is a model patient. Even the newest medical student can practise on him and study his array of symptoms and illnesses.

Unfortunately, Stan isn't human but he is the next best thing - a hi-tech manikin known as a human patient simulator.

He is so versatile he can be programmed to be any age and have a whole range of symptoms.

One day he can be healthy and fit, the next day he can be dying. He is so cleverly designed that his whole body is tuned to replicate the patterns of the disease and that makes him an ideal model for students to study.

So, could Stan and Repliee Q1 be the next big love story? Or could they have children? What would their child's name be? Could it be Stanee or Q Stanlee?

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