So This Exists: Larry The Vomiting Robot

01.04.13 5 years ago

Back in 2010, we introduced you to Ecobot, the robot who poops. (Sidenote: our children’s book, Ecobot: The Robot Who Poops, unfortunately didn’t make it to print.) Now Ecobot has a similarly-crass best friend in Vomiting Larry, the robot who pukes. Wait, the vomiting robot is named Larry? Should have been Ralph.

The vomiting robot was built to simulate projectile vomiting in humans in order to study how aerosolized particles of puke spread disease. Did you know projectile vomiting can spread small particles of puke as far as 10 feet? We learned that from PopSci and also from the Evil Dead trailer this morning, and we haven’t stopped screaming since.

Besides being hilarious, Larry Ralph the vomiting robot serves a scientific purpose. Dr. Ian Goodfellow at the Imperial College London is using it to study how noroviruses spread via vomiting. These viruses can’t be grown in a controlled environment yet, so alternate ways to study them are needed. It takes fewer than 20 norovirus particles to infect someone, causing projectile vomiting and diarrhea for 2 days. There are 21 million cases of norovirus in the U.S. each year, the second most common virus after the common cold. And yes, all of these statistics are just an excuse to post a video of a robot upchucking.

You can see the vomiting robot in action in the video below. SCIENCE!

Via IEEE, PopSci, BBC

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