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Robot Vomiting Larry Hurls Data for Medical Research

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vomitinglarry-thumb-550xauto-108556Site-owner, my boss, and all around swell guy Josh Tyler knew what he was doing by not naming this website Giant Freakin’ Dot Matrix Printer, or Giant Freakin’ Edsel, because those are outdated forms of technology, and there’s a good chance robots will be around longer than we will. 2012 was a big year for our electronic brethren, and the next few years will be unprecedented in terms of how quickly advancements will occur. But scientists can hang their hats up on Vomiting Larry, surely the most advanced being of his kind, now and forevermore. Just don’t hang those hats around his mouth.

Though his name may strike fear in the hearts of germophobes everywhere, Vomiting Larry is actually on their side. He is currently being used in a major study of the highly infectious norovirus in the U.K., where the virus is referred to as the Winter vomiting bug, due to the rampant spreading between homebound citizens during the coldest months. Norovirses, though able to pass relatively quickly through healthy people, have no scientifically sound cures available yet. Ian Goodfellow, of the charity/research foundation Wellcome Trust, calls it “the Ferrari of the virus world,” and he’s been studying it for over ten years, so he should know. No word about what the Ford Pinto of viruses is.

Vomiting Larry, as you’ll see in the below video, is being used by health and safety labs in Buxton in a Mythbusters kind of way to test the spreading through vomit, in which millions of different particles containing the virus become aerosolized, making them capable of infecting anyone within ten feet of the spew’s arc. Not that anyone tries to projectile vomit around people, but now know that it is indeed a risk, as is passing the virus along by fecal contamination. But we’ll just leave that robot up to our imaginations, shall we?

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