The development of manikin robots are human-shaped models that have revolutionized our lives in endless ways. These specialized robots help simulate medical, surgical, or clinical scenarios. I believe you’d love to meet one of them.
Thermatrics is a thermal measurement technology company that custom-built ANDI for Arizona State University (ASU). Advanced Newton Dynamic Instrument, or ANDI, is the world’s first indoor-outdoor breathing, sweating, and walking thermal manikin robot. The alarming climate change prompted researchers to create ANDI. A robot that can withstand extreme cases of heat. What makes this manikin robot unlike any other?
ANDI can mimic human body thermal functions in 35 surface areas with temperature, flux sensors, and sweat pores. Konrad Rykaczewski, an associate professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy, addresses the importance of learning from the manikin robot. Amazingly, its functions are limited to generating heat, shivering, walking, and breathing. Thus, this specialized manikin robot can be extremely useful and provide a better understanding of how heat impacts the human body.
The Dynamic Duo
ASU researchers are putting ANDI and MaRTy (ASU’s Mean Radiant Temperature biometerological heat robot) to the test. They start by simulating heat-exposure scenarios in a developed heat chamber that can go up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Based on the trial runs, “MaRTy can tell us how the built environment modifies the amount of heat that hits the body, but MaRTy doesn’t know what happens inside the body. MaRTy measures the environment, and then ANDI can tell us how the body can react,” states Ariane Middel, assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering.
MaRTy is a great mobile tool that measures air temperature, humidity, wind speed, and direction, and GPS direction. Studies proved that after a “thermal walk” around Phoenix, (one of the hottest and dryest cities in the United States) with the heat robot, that thermal alliesthesia was affecting many residents. Thermal alliesthesia is a change to a sensory experience that causes negative effects on the human body.
This is one of the many research studies demonstrating warming trends in cities, especially in the extreme summer heat. Several publications and data evaluate radiant heat temperatures with the hope of decreasing thermal exposure in pedestrian walks.
A smaller version of MaRTy, MaRTyini will be implemented in the city of Tempe, Phoenix to further research on how the use of public space changes with the heat.
This dynamic duo will uncover newly fed insights for researchers. However, ANDI can offer much more. Since it has internal cooling channels, cool water circulates throughout its body to keep it cool from scorching heat conditions. This will provide researchers with a better understanding of hyperthermia, which is affecting the increasing growth of global humanity.
Hope for the Future
ANDI has given us hope for the future. As a result of the data collected and researched, researchers can develop cooling clothes or exoskeleton for backpacks. These new ideas provide a holistic approach and solutions to the existing global climate change, which is a topic of increase concern to several societies. Arizona State University and the National Science Foundation Leading Engineering for America’s Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure are trailblazers in this field to provide a “cooler” society in “boiling” circumstances.
Furthermore, ANDI will continue to save lives as he continues to be placed to the test. This robot will provide answers to people dying of heat in extreme heat situations. Researchers will better understand how our bodies are impacted by heat and the risks of environmental factors.
Interested in how AI is revolutionizing (in a positive way) healthcare? Check our other post here.