Scientists use robots to study Norovirus


Remember Rosie the Robot? The Jetsons friendly, efficient fictitious servant? Forget about her and make room for Vomiting Larry - a Real Robot serving to understand the trajectory of what happens to people with Norovirus. Today, we're exploring the creation of Robots to cure us but we may have to give up on the idea of Robots to serve us.

Scientists use robots to study Norovirus - Robot Creator

It's been called "Nature's perfect pathogen" and Norovirus is behaving with perfect zeal along Canada's west coast. It's already closed hospital wards, hit daycare centres and long term care homes. Public health officials say it's the worst outbreak in at least 6 years.

Kerry Sandrin and her family were contaminated with the virus in Vancouver this week. Paul Van Buynder is the Chief Medical Health Officer with The Fraser Health Authority in Metro Vancouver.

As you heard him mention, the norovirus spreads easily and quickly. But researchers in the United Kingdom have developed a technology that may eventually slow it down - it's a robot called Vomiting Larry.

Catherine Makison-Booth created the robot for the UK's Health and Safety Laboratory. We reached her at the Lab in Buxton, England.

Scientists use robots to study Norovirus - Robot Expert

Larry the Robot may have much to teach us, but the fact that he's gone viral on the internet tells us something we already know: We love robots....even if they're not feeling well. From the first use of the term "robot" in 1921, to Hal 3000 and "Ro-boy" -- a child-like robot currently being "gestated" over nine months by Swedish researchers -- robots capture our imaginations.

But what's behind that fascination? And just where are we in our quest to create the perfect android? Not everyone is asking these questions - but Alex Knapp is. He's a staff writer for Forbes, and he writes the blog Robot Overlords. Alex Knapp was in Kansas City.

Scientists use robots to study Norovirus - Robot Skit

If robots gain rights -- will they also demand workplace equality, solidarity, fulfilling jobs -- or will they be happy just going through the motions? Our comedy team weighs in.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath and Dawna Dingwall.

Other segments from today's show:

President al-Assad: Delusional or Sane?

Questioning Teen Sick-Lit

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