Robot patients used for dentist training

James Ryan Jonas

A new robot has been invented in Japan which can help train dentists regarding dental pains experienced by patients. Read on, this one’s just absolutely cool.

Humanoid robot teaches dentists to feel people’s pain

Japan’s future dentists may soon be able to better appreciate patients’ pain by training on a humanoid robot that can mumble “ouch” when the drill hits a nerve.

The dental-training robot, dubbed Simroid for “simulator humanoid,” has realistic skin, eyes and a mouth fitted with replica teeth on which students practice drilling. A sensor fitted where the nerve endings would be raises the alert when they drill too close triggering a yelp from the robot.

“Ow, that hurt!” a female robot squeaked, narrowing her eyes as a young dentist drilled on her replica teeth. “Now, I’m OK,” she said as the dentist eased off.

Naotake Shibui, a professor at Nippon Medical School, which introduced the robot in September, said Simroid can help dentists “learn how to communicate with patients.”

“Our aim is to train dentists to worry about whether patients are comfortable, and not just focus on technical expertise,” said Dr. Shibui.


James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.