The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) in Buxton has created a robot that is able to accurately simulate projectile vomiting.
Larry, as the robot has been named, has been developed to assist with research into how the winter vomiting bug Norovirus spreads.
The vomiting android was designed, developed and built by Catherine Makison-Booth, a research scientist at HSL.
A statement by the team explains Larry’s purpose: “He was conceived in response to a large Norovirus outbreak in the UK during the winter of 2010/11.
“His purpose is to help HSL researchers demonstrate and identify the extent of contamination during projectile vomiting as experienced by a Norovirus sufferer.”
Larry has an oesophagus which is attached to a cylinder representing his stomach. It is filled with a fluid to represent stomach contents.
The fluid contains a dye which becomes visible under ultra violet light. This makes it possible to see the spread of fluid in a vomiting episode.
The system shows how rooms can be contaminated by projectile vomiting. Small droplets can spread over three metres away from Larry.
The virus is easily spread by contact with an infected person and touching contaminated surfaces or objects.