Scientists have achieved a remarkable breakthrough with the invention of ANDI, the world’s first “breathing, sweating, shivering” robot. Thermetrics and Arizona State University created this heat-sensitive “thermal mannequin” with 35 individually controlled surfaces that mimic human sweat. ANDI generates heat, shivers, walks, and breathes, allowing researchers to study the effects of extreme temperatures on the human body.

While other sweating robots exist for garment testing, ANDI is the only one capable of functioning outdoors; this feature enables experiments in previously inaccessible extreme heat environments and studying solar radiation impacts. ASU researchers plan to test ANDI in heat-vulnerable areas around Phoenix, examining how different age groups, body types, and medical conditions respond to high temperatures.

ANDI is the first breathing, sweating, and walking thermal mannequin. (Image: Christopher Goulet/ASU)

By incorporating customized models for BMI, age, and medical conditions, the research team aims to understand diverse thermal regulations, including those of individuals with diabetes.

The data collected will inform the development of interventions like cooling clothes and heat-stroke prevention technologies. The ultimate goal is to quantitatively design practical solutions for mitigating the health risks posed by extreme heat.

The robot mimics human thermal functions with 35 individually controlled surfaces. (Image: Christopher Goulet/ASU)

This original innovation holds great promise for advancing our knowledge of the human body’s response to extreme temperatures. It opens avenues for developing strategies that protect individuals from heat-related dangers and improve overall well-being.

ANDI represents a significant milestone in robotics and thermal regulation research, with potential implications for various fields concerned with human health and safety.

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