Can you ever hurt a robot?

Can you ever hurt a robot?We think of robots as perfect machines that never do anything wrong, let alone get hurt. However, there are some robots whose whole purpose is to get hurt and to say ‘ouch’.

These robots are dummy patients for dentists. They have a model human head, and student dentists practise doing fillings and other kinds of dental work on the robot’s teeth. If the student does anything that would hurt a human patient, the robot indicated the mistake. Dental robots can even be programmed to squirm about in the chair, as some children-and adults-do when they visit the dentist.

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