Man Replaces Teeth With Small Robots
Michael Giggs operates a dentist practice in Hudson, Massachusetts. By running a tight ship, he has found much success over the years. “The money is great”, he says, but what he loves most about his job is “helping the community live happy, smiley lives.”
Outside of work, Mike enjoys amateur robotics.
“I like to build machines that help around the house. Sometimes I also make them do funny things to make my kids laugh.”
One of Mike’s inventions was a knock off Roomba. Another was a tooth-brushing robot. Neither worked very well. A popular one was a juggling bot that could juggle any number of balls (most of the time).
Mike says his best invention idea yet is “robot teeth”. Dentistry consultants around the world hated the idea, but, as Mike says, “Never trust a dentist when money is on the line.” So he went ahead and built self-cleaning, auto-chewing dentures to make his life easier. He tried them on himself first.
These dentures consist of 31 small robots, each roughly the size of a tooth and screwed into the jaw in place of existing teeth. Each mechanical tooth includes two robotic arms wielding miniature scissors in one hand and a tiny toothbrush in the other. With this in your mouth, anything is possible (with a few exceptions).
To eat, Mike places a hunk of food atop his tongue, closes his mouth, and relaxes while his teeth go to work, buzzing, slicing, and dicing. There’s no need to chew, because the teeth use their scissor tools to snip the food up into tiny pieces all by themselves. All Mike needs to do is swallow the bits afterward!
Then, whenever Mike is not eating, the sensors in his teeth trigger clean mode, at which point each individual tooth retracts its scissors arm and extends the toothbrush arm, proceeding to scrub every corner of his mouth until he claps them into off-mode.
“I’ve never enjoyed my eating more,” Mike says, “and my teeth have never been cleaner.”
Mike hopes to bring RoboTeeth to the market, starting at his own practice, although he admits not all patients are enthused at the idea of replacing their teeth with robots built by someone who has never studied robotics.
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