Scientists develop a vomiting robot to study a stomach bug

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This is not a vomiting robot. Thankfully.

When the robots take over, I can think of over a dozen ways they’ll try to crush humanity. Vomiting, however, is a new one. It’s not only gross but also super effective, according to a group of scientists from the University of Cambridge.

The research team led by Ian Goodfellow are looking to study the spread of an extremely contagious stomach bug known as the norovirus. To help the researchers in this endeavor, they put together Larry, the "humanoid simulated vomiting system."

The norovirus is a fast-spreading stomach virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. it's very contagious—it takes fewer than 20 virus particles for someone to become infected with it. There are an estimated 21 million annual cases in the United States that result in 70,000 hospitalizations as well as 800 deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control.

The problem with studying the virus in the lab is that scientists can’t grow a human-borne norovirus, so the Cambridge team decided to develop Larry to help model the spread of the virus by creating an artificial puke spray that travels nearly 10 feet. Gross.

Be sure to check out the BBC for the video of the incredibly anatomically correct model of vomiting starting at the 2:43 mark.

[BBC via Popular Science]

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