University of Arizona Medical Students Help Robot Give Birth to Baby Robot

What's crazier than a screaming woman in labor? A screaming robot woman in labor.

It sounds like a joke, but it's not. The University of Arizona Medical Center is the proud owner of their very own pregnant robot-mannequin lady. Named Noelle, she grunts, screams, yells at the doctors, pees, bleeds -- and yes, even gives birth (to a cute little robot baby named Hal).

The trio are the newest in robotic technology designed to help train medical students in labor and delivery so they don't have to train on real people.

And it's a good thing, too: Paid for with a $40,000 grant from Miami-based Guarnard Scientific, the university bought Noell, baby Hal, and another, smaller robot-baby in January. Then Noelle was taken out of commission for a while when medical students (yelp!) broke her pelvic bone.

Now the trio are back in business, and are helping an average of 20 medical students a week diagnose all sorts of birth complications like cesareans and breach births. Noelle can even hemorrhage, all while screaming in pain and yelling things like "don't touch me" at the medical students.

And let's not forget little Hal, who can change colors, ranging from healthy pink to blue to simulate asphyxiation, so medical students can practice diagnostic techniques.

According to Chief of Technical and Laboratory Services David Biffar, Noelle has helped at least 3,000 medical students, and has been in "labor" for nearly 4,000 hours this year.


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