Humanoid robot spews out data for researchers looking to contain outbreaks of novovirus
A ‘vomiting' robot is helping British researchers investigate how one of winter's most infectious bugs, the novovirus, can spread so easily.
Although the highly infectious virus can hit at any time of the year, it is most prevalent in winter months and during the 2012/13 Christmas period the Health Protection Agency reported 83 per cent increase in the number of cases where people had been infected in the UK.
Now Larry, a system of a cylinder for a body attached to a head, designed and developed by the British Health and Safety Laboratory, is being used to see how the virus can spread between people so easily despite sanitation measures.
The body is filled with water and a florescent liquid. A pump then ejects the fluid through the Larry's open mouth to mimic the projectile vomiting associated with the novovirus.
The HSL studies have shown that the small droplets ejected can spread over three metres, a far wider area of contamination than was previously thought, and these droplets contain enough of the infection to spread the disease easily.
The HSL said that the data will be published in health journals and be used for healthcare guidance in hospitals.
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