Pregnant robots give birth at UMC

Two robots of pregnant women, who give birth to robot infants, recently checked in to University Medical Center.

While it would make even bigger headlines if the two robots were part of an alien invasion, they are instead teaching tools purchased with a $40,000 grant.

UA medical student Garrett Pacheco delivers robot Noelle's robot Baby Hal/submitted photo

UA medical student Garrett Pacheco delivers robot Noelle's robot Baby Hal/submitted photo

The mom robots are named “Noelle” and they give birth to “Baby Hal.” Unfortunately, it seems the two blond robots are identical, which will hopefully not lead to any baby mix-ups, but they can be programmed to do different things.

Here’s more from the UMC news release:

Noelle can be programmed to simulate a long or short labor. A motor pushes a lifelike plastic baby out of the birth canal and even expels an ersatz placenta. She can simulate a variety of childbirth complications, from a breech delivery to hemorrhage to the baby being born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.

Noelle’s pulse and respiration rises and falls, she urinates and bleeds, and students can practice inserting an IV, intubating her airway, resuscitating her though CPR or delivering her baby with forceps or a vacuum.

Noelle even talks. “It’s really hurting now!” and “The baby is coming!” are among dozens of her pre-programmed vocalizations. Rynnote: It doesn’t say if she screams, swears or bites through metal objects in pain.

The lifelike newborn robot can be programmed to change colors from a healthy pink to the dusky blue of oxygen deficiency, and to simulate seizures, allowing doctors and nurses to practice their resuscitation skills.

The automaton recently made her debut to a group of third-year students from the UA College of Medicine in UMC’s Labor and Delivery Unit

Wow. Kind of creepy but very snappy.

Keeping this robot concept in mind, we should get extra Baby Hals to pass out to pregnant mothers so they learn to not shake, slap or forget about infants in their cribs for 18-hour stretches.

We should also add some robot dogs, cats, hamsters and birds so folks can learn how to properly take care of pets.

And where’s that Rosie Robot who is supposed to come clean my house?

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What do you think?

Is this an awesome concept or a waste of money?

Would a robot help you learn things you need to know?

Will robots really take over the world, as we’ve all been promised?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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21 Responses to Pregnant robots give birth at UMC

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! I think this is a great tool for practicing pediatricians. I don’t think there could be anything as painful as carrying a child and then losing it due to doctor error or confusion. Nah, the money does not seem -compared to $400 hammers and $800 toilet seats the military seems to be so fond of… 

  2. Rynski says:

    Hiya RadMax – I agree. Wish there had been a robot with a pencil stuck in its leg to teach the school nurse to pull it OUT rather than crack it OFF, leaving my calf full of graphite for life. The price, too, does seem quite reasonable for such an advanced tool (esp. when compared to the pricey toilet seats – haha).

  3. azmouse says:

    Sounds kinda cool. Maybe they could make back the money by having expectant fathers pay for a class to see one of these robots delivered. That way they could be a little better prepared when the time came for the real thing.

    • Rynski says:

      What a good idea! This way, too, the irresponsible dads-to-be could be weeded out before the fact, as they would be the ones running for the vending machines instead of the delivery rooms.

      • radmax says:

        Ladies please! Us dads already go through all kinds of hell to get ready for this!(I don’t think there is anything that can fully prepare you.) This robot would tend to freak guys more than the actual birth! I know I had no problem with my daughters’ arrival. Maybe a voluntary, not mandatory class would work.

      • Rynski says:

        hahah! I thought you said this was a good idea – now it’s freaky? haha

      • azmouse says:

        I agree on the voluntary part.  Only guys interested, or even first time Moms could do it.

  4. sechem says:

    so if you are not willing to go into the deivery room you are an irresponsible dad?

    • Rynski says:

      I don’t know – what do you think? UNWILLINGNESS to be at the hospital would be harsh and uncaring. Perhaps ‘irresponsible’ was the wrong word? If the father of the child is not on hand (unless some very good reason is given), I would generally think he was a jerk. What’s your take on it?

      • A.Farley says:

        I was OK in the Delivery room for my three sons but when the Doc cut into that “Peseomity” thing I lost it. This story also reminds me of the balloon that came out of my inflatable doll one time.

      • Rynski says:

        A. Farley – I really don’t know what to say to that….

    • azmouse says:

      Not irresponsible….maybe a wimp?!?

      KIDDING

  5. Carolyn Classen says:

    Sounds like we are indeed entering a “Brave New World” when robots can give birth to other robots.   Robotics sure has advanced in the medical field.

  6. ldonyo says:

    Were the robots partners? Will there be a protest against lesbian robots having children? 😉

  7. sechem says:

    first, when my first daughter was born i was watching happy days in happy days in the wating room. in 1975 men did not go intoo the delivery room
    when my second daughter was born just two years later, i was in the dlellivery room.

    whimp? iknow a vet that can charge up the hill under the heat of gunfire, but when it comes to seeing his wife in pain …….. he’s is reactionary. the staff doesn’t want him in the room. he is an exception.
    it should be a wife/husband decision and everyone else needs to abide by it.
    robots thing is cool.

  8. Cindy says:

    Watching it for real is 100,000 times different than watching a robot.  This would freak out any normal, non-medical person to the point that they wouldn’t want to be there, no-way, uh-uh – especially a dude who, no matter how tuned in is still an outsider to what all lady bodies do.   Reality of birth, from a SERIOUSLY queasy individual, is that while you’re there watching it, it doesn’t  occur to you that it’s gross until way later when the glow wears off.  It reeks and it’s generally long and sweaty but it’s intensely driven by nature, even when mama is hooked up in a hospital.  Especially if you’ve never seen it, a robot is not the way to learn about it as it would freak out anyone, like those movies in health class designed to make kids not Do It.  A robot or movie doesn’t let dad experience the weird removal (no pun intended) that happens when nature over-rides something that is medically pretty messy and disgusting.    

  9. A.Farley says:

    And what’s up with the “C” section, that really put me over the edge. It was like her body was cut in half and the only thing holding it together was the spine.

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