This Robotic Butt Could Save Your Life

Plastic patients are no laughing matter

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A few weeks ago, comedian Rob Delaney tweeted an evocative photo:

While most people retweeted, gawked and laughed, the folks over at Geekosystem decided to track down the person in the photo and find out what exactly the man in the picture was doing with his hand all up in a plastic posterior.

Turns out, there was a perfectly respectable reason for it. Dr. Benjamin Lok has spent the past four years working on ways to improve the preparation and performance of the next generation of doctors during intimate exams, which include things like clinical breast exams and prostate exams. To help improve the intimate testing experience for doctors and, presumably, patients, Lok teamed up with Dr. Carla Pugh of the University of Wisconsin, to combine the mannequin with sensors on the prostate that she invented to track student performance, with his research into virtual patients simulation to create lifelike exam simulations.

Lok told Geekosystem, “The resulting experience is a life-sized, realistic virtual person that medical students can speak and gesture with to interact. Furthermore, the medical students can perform a realistic prostate exam using the physical simulator.” The man in the photo is a medical student and the robotic rump is actually a prostate exam simulator, also known as preparing to save lives, not playing on a new XBOX accessory.

This all sounds great until the inevitable robotic butt singularity.

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