Meet ANDI: A ‘manikin’ at ASU that can breathe, sweat and shiver like a human
Researchers say ANDI will allow them to learn how humans can stay cool and safe in triple digit heat.
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Triple-digit heat is part of life in Arizona. The Valley hasn’t hit 110 degrees yet this year, but researchers at Arizona State University are hard at work studying how that intense heat can impact our bodies. And they are doing it in a very unique way.
A new manikin on campus named ANDI can breathe, walk and even sweat like a human. ANDI lives on the Tempe campus and was built by a company called Thermetrics. Professors at ASU say ANDI is designed to teach researchers how our extreme climate can impact people who have to be outside or choose to be outside during the hottest months of the year.
In Maricopa County alone, there were 425 heat-related deaths in 2022, according to county officials. That’s a 25% increase from the previous year. Professors want to know how and why the heat can be so deadly without putting real people at risk.
“Nobody wants to measure somebody’s core temperature as they are getting a heat stroke,” said Dr. Konrad Rykaczewski, an associate professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. “With the thermal manikin, we can run these experiments and increase his core temperature to 108, 109 degrees and then we can go back and run the experiments ... could there be something changed to avoid that situation?”
ANDI represents the average male and was purchased with grant funding through the National Science Foundation. The school, eventually, would like to buy a female. There are about 10 other ANDIs that exist across the world, according to ASU, but the school says this is the world’s first thermal manikin of its kind because he can spend time both inside and outside.
When ANDI goes outside, he works with another device named MaRTy that measures thermal radiation. “Ten years from now, you will see MaRTy and ANDI roam the roads, hopefully autonomously,” said Ariane Middel, an assistant professor at ASU. “Hopefully, so we don’t have to haul them around all the time. And they are going to measure all kinds of different environments. And help us make decisions about how we can design cities better to make them heat safe for people to be outdoors.”
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