What do you look for in a robot friend? The ability to help you with everyday tasks? To answer questions about the world? Great, but what about a robot that can replicate very specific bodily functions?
Thermetrics built a heat-sensitive “thermal manikin” named ANDI that can walk, breathe, shiver, and sweat.
ANDI’s joints allow it to walk, while its “skin” has 35 independently controlled surface areas that, much like a human’s, contain pores that bead sweat.
Why the heck would anyone want this?
Researchers can use ANDI to study the impact of extreme temperatures on humans without actually subjecting humans to those environments.
At Arizona State University, scientists are using ANDI to measure the effects of extreme heat.
“We can take it to an old mobile home where AC went off and see how long it would take for ANDI to get sick,” Konrad Rykaczewski, principal investigator for Arizona State University’s related research, explained.
But make it fashion
More importantly, they can study how well new inventions, such as particular apparel fabrics, mitigate the negative effects of extreme heat — something that’s apt to be more in demand due to climate change.
Scientists are already experimenting with things like metafabric, a mirror-esque synthetic fabric that reflects light and heat and, in tests on a human, was found to cool the wearer by 5 degrees Celsius.
Also cool: ANDI can be modified to account for different ages, body types, or medical conditions. They even offer a baby manikin that, while likely useful to researchers, will absolutely haunt your nightmares tonight.