Robots aren’t just built to perform tasks (like dancing); some are designed to help researchers investigate decidedly non-robotic phenomenon. Such is the case with a robot currently being used by the British Health and Safety Laboratory to study … well, the robot’s name is Vomiting Larry, if that gives you a clue.
The scientists are studying the spread of noroviruses, nasty bugs that cause projectile vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of taste. They are transmitted directly via aerosolization, which takes place when humans vomit. The robot was designed to help the researchers analyze vomiting patterns.
Larry is primed with a “vomitus substitute” with a flourescent marker to graphically demonstrate the full extent of room contamination. So far, researchers have determined that the norovirus can travel up to 9.8 ft. via projectile vomiting.
If you have a particularly strong constitution, you can see Larry in action in the video below (and learn a lot more about norovirus, while you’re at it).