Scientists from Arizona State University have revamped the first walking manikin, which replicates human-like features such as generating heat, shivering, walking, and breathing. The objective behind the redesign of the robot known as ANDI is to enhance scientists’ comprehension of how the human body responds to heat waves.
A Sweating and Breathing Robot
The Thermetrics company custom-built the robot ANDI specifically for ASU as part of a project funded by an NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant. ANDI boasts an impressive array of features. It comprises of 35 individually controlled surface areas across its manikin body, equipped with temperature sensors, heat flux sensors, and even pores capable of producing sweat.
According to Konrad Rykaczewski, the principal investigator for the ASU research project, it is a remarkable creation that goes beyond mere imitation. Rykaczewski explained how the device can generate heat, shiver, walk, and breathe, thus simulating a wide range of human responses. The motivation behind this groundbreaking endeavor is to develop a deeper understanding of how the human body reacts to heat and utilize this knowledge to design effective solutions.
ANDI Can Lead to Breakthroughs
Jenni Vanos, an associate professor at ASU’s School of Sustainability and an atmospheric scientist, highlighted the significance of ANDI’s capabilities. She emphasized the limitations of subjecting real humans to dangerous heat scenarios for testing purposes and expressed the need to comprehend the factors that contribute to heat-related fatalities. ANDI provides a unique opportunity to explore and unravel such mysteries. Rykaczewski echoed this sentiment, underlining the ethical concerns and dangers associated with conducting extensive tests on human subjects.
The introduction of ANDI marks a significant breakthrough, as it is the first thermal manikin designed for outdoor use. Its groundbreaking internal cooling channel enables researchers to investigate the reasons behind heat stress on the human body and shed light on the specific factors that can turn extremely hot weather into a fatal threat in certain cases.
Currently, there are 10 ANDI manikins in operation worldwide. Interestingly, many of these robots are owned by athletic clothing companies and are utilized for garment testing. However, ASU’s ANDI is one of only two models being employed by research institutions.
According to new research from the University of Oxford, there is no reason to link exercise and developing arthritis in the knee. This became evident after a meta-analysis of six global studies with over 5,000 participants, of which some had arthritis in the knee, and some didn’t. They were followed for periods of five to twelve years, and the gathered data showed that adults over 45 were mostly free of risk when it came to recreational activities.
Recreational Exercise, Sport, Running, Cycling, and Swimming Do Not Cause Arthritis of the Knee
While this recent study found that recreational exercise involving cycling, swimming, running, or sports with little to no impact on the knee will not cause arthritis, occupations that involve heavy physical work, whole-body vibration, kneeling, and repetitive movements should be considered risky. The researchers at the University of Oxford have stated that the study was the first of its kind, assessing the relationship between physical exercise, the calories burned during activity, and osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis Is the Most Common form of Arthritis Among Adults
Apparently, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is more common in women and people of older age. Obesity is another one of the common risk factors related to the disease. According to Dr. Thomas Perry from the University of Oxford, the recent findings suggest that whole-body, physiological energy expenditure related to sports, walking, and cycling activities is not directly associated with arthritis of the knee. Also, time spent in recreational physical activity should not be associated with incident osteoarthritis.
Now that scientists know that the time spent doing physical activity and the amount of exercise is not a cause for the development of knee osteoarthritis, clinicians can feel better about prescribing physical activity for health. The evidence can also encourage more people to go out and exercise without worrying about arthritis.
The study from the University of Oxford was published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology and accepted for publication after undergoing full peer review.