Meet Larry, the projectile-vomiting robot

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BUXTON has been thrust into the global media spotlight – thanks to a projectile-vomiting robot.

The hi-tech machine, affectionately known as Larry, has been created by town scientists who are investigating a violent winter sickness bug.

Catherine Makison-Booth with Larry the vomiting dummy at Buxton's Health and Safety Laboratories

Catherine Makison-Booth with Larry the vomiting dummy at Buxton's Health and Safety Laboratories

Larry has been throwing up continuously for weeks at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Harpur Hill to enable experts to track the spread of highly-contagious norovirus germs.

It is hoped the pioneering study will help improve techniques for cleaning the debilitating bug which affects up to a million people in the UK every year.

Developed by microbiologist Cat Mackison-Booth, the robot’s ‘sick’ is blurted out through a makeshift mouth and can fly almost ten feet.

Mrs Mackison-Booth said: “Norovirus is incredibly infectious and incredibly unpleasant.

“Larry is helping us study the spread of norovirus germs and hopefully this experiment will be a good step towards improving infection control in a number of places including hospitals and aeroplanes.”

Larry has made headlines across the world and sparked widespread interest.

He was mentioned during a recent episode of David Letterman’s late-night chat show in America which is in the grip of a norovirus crisis.

Mrs Mackison-Booth joked: “Larry is quite a big deal!”

She added: “It may be quite a quirky experiment but at the same time it’s very important.”

The project has received funding from the Department of Health and the Health and Safety Laboratory.

• To see a video of Larry in action, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=me21QEpg760

 

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