Congrats! She's a chip off the old block

July 28, 2006

Expectant mothers may long to be like Noelle, Sheffield Hallam University's new robot, who can give birth at "warp speed".

Noelle, who is thought to be the first training tool of her kind in higher education in England, is a cutting-edge mother and baby simulator.

She is designed to give student midwives experience of mothers and newborns before they enter a clinical setting.

Students are not expected to sit through marathon simulations. But Noelle can be programmed to take up to six hours, with complications including Caesarean sections, breach and premature births. In a warp speed birth with no complications, her baby can pop out in five minutes.

Noelle is manufactured by Gaumard. Technicians there have named her full-term baby Holly and her pre-term baby Ivy.

Linda Lang, acting deputy dean in the faculty of health and wellbeing, said: "At Sheffield Hallam we teach in state-of-the-art realistic clinical settings. This gives (our students) a real edge."

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