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News / July 4, 2011

‘Love doll’ firm develops dental robot

by Guy Hiscott

A robot aimed at training dental students in Japan and manufactured by a company that makes ‘love dolls’ has attracted a lot of interest in the press this weekend.

Hanako 2 can simulate almost every type of facial movement, can cough and sneeze and even speak.

The android can move its tongue and replicate gagging and is about to go into production after undergoing trials at Showa University Dentistry School.

Showa Hanako 2 is said to be a more user friendly and functional replacement to Showa Hanako 1, which was presented in March 2010.

Adult entertainment firm Orient Industry – makers of ‘love dolls’ – is responsible for the silicone skin (this replaces the PVC skin of the previous model) and mouth lining, which increases the realistic feel and prevents water from getting into the machinery.

Orient was brought in when inventors were unsatisfied with earlier models that looked too scary.

Professor Yuuji Sato, from the university, said: ‘We were looking for a more realistic reaction from the robot, which now we think we have achieved.

‘To make the robot training natural for students we called in Orient to help us with the design and create a more life-like experience.’

Showa Hanako 2 will be sold by the dental supply company, The Yoshida Dental Manufacturing.