Remember going to the doctor when you were a kid? If the word 'traumatizing' comes to mind, you'll love the RoboDoc by MarkusB, a robotic doctor that makes checkups a little less scary (and a lot more fun) for kids.
It all started when Markus took his 14-month-old daughter for a checkup. The finger clip that the doctor used to check her pulse terrified her, so Markus decided to build a heartbeat monitor just for kids that's much more likely to make them laugh than cry.
The RoboDoc has a heartbeat monitor sensor for its body and a cute LED face, inspired by the Tengu that reacts to sound, allowing it to have facial expressions. A photoplethysmography sensor reads the child's pulse by reflection rather than transmission, which basically means they can press their finger to a pad that senses the heartbeat instead of those uncomfortable finger clamps.
Markus added a loudspeaker and voice recorder so the RoboDoc could give instructions and a diagnosis at the end of the checkup, so the real doctor can pretty much stand back and let it do all the work. You can see it in action here.
The RoboDoc will be at this year's Maker Faire and hopefully in doctors' offices eventually. To learn more, or if you're interested in making your own, visit Markus's post for super-detailed photos, schematics, and further details about the build.