If you're freaked out either by humanoid robots or the thought of dental work, proceed with caution. If both make your skin crawl, you might want to reach for the nitrous oxide.
Showa Hanako, a robotic dental patient out of Japan we told you about last year, has been reborn as Showa Hanako 2. Now the android can not only open and close her mouth, move her tongue, shake her head, blink, cough, sneeze, choke, roll her eyes, and tell her dentist, "Ouch! It hurts!" She can look ultra-realistic doing it.
Jointly developed by Showa, Waseda, and Kogakuin universities and produced by Japanese robot maker Tmsuk, Showa Hanako 2 was created to be a training robot for dental students. But where her elder sister looked like a stiff plastic doll tethered to a dental chair, Showa Hanako 2 looks like a stiff real woman tethered to a dental chair. That's largely because where she used to be made of PVC plastic, she now features silicone skin, tongue, and mouth lining made by Orient Industry, a creator of sex dolls. Needless to say, Orient has a high stake in making realistic-looking and -feeling body parts. … Read more