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Furhat Robotics and Merck launches disease detecting robot

Furhat Robotics and Merck have unveiled a social robot that has the ability to detect signs of three of the world’s most common, yet underdiagnosed, diseases - diabetes, alcoholism and hypothyroidism. The robot PETRA (prescreening experience through robot automation) will educate people on how to take better care of their health whilst simultaneously alleviating the embarrassment that people often feel when discussing stigmatized health issues.

PETRA encourages people to answer a series of questions and screen them for diabetes, alcoholism and hypothyroidism. At the end of the interaction, PETRA can make recommendations regarding getting in touch with a physician for follow up.

A pilot version of PETRA was launched on November 27.

Further information about PETRA is found on and