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Robot Baby Delivers Lessons

Robot Baby Delivers Lessons

Note: Not the robot baby in question

Andrea Woodhouse | Daily Breeze

August 21, 2009

One of Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s most recent arrivals weighs a little more than 7 pounds, measures 21 inches long, and cries, whimpers and wails with the best of them.

But this baby – named Simantha – is packed with wires and a computer, and cost $35,000 to deliver.

The bouncing baby robot is the latest addition to the facility’s Clinical Skills Laboratory, a mock medical environment where hospital staffers practice techniques and skills on computer-driven mannequins.

“This kind of completes the package,” said John Edwards, the center’s simulation technology specialist and proud papa of sorts.

The hospital celebrated Simantha’s arrival Thursday with – what else – a baby shower that brought streams of staffers and volunteers to coo.

And baby makes five at the laboratory, where four other life- like mock patients reside, awaiting to test the knowledge, critical thinking and patient care skills of hospital staff.

With a click of a computer mouse, Edwards made the robot tot – clad in a pink top and matching knit cap – cry, hiccup, seize and even stop breathing.

Upon seeing Simantha’s chubby little cheeks turn an icy blue, Monika Chudoba, a labor and delivery nurse, jumped right in and began resuscitating it.

“Oh, she’s turning pink now,” said Chudoba, holding a mask over the baby’s mouth and pumping air into her mechanical lungs. “Yay!”

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