PETER SAGAL, HOST:
We want to remind everybody they can join us here more weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago. For tickets and more information, go to wbez.org, and you can find a link at our website, waitwait.npr.org. There you can also find out about our big nationwide cinema event on May 2nd, live from New York. WAIT WAIT is coming to a theater near you, live in glorious two dimensions.
SAGAL: Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Adam, in another case of robots taking jobs away from hard working humans, scientist at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Britain - I guess laboratory, in Britain - have a new robot that will help with medical research by doing what?
ADAM FELBER: Complain.
SAGAL: No. It has...
FELBER: I've got the pioneer.
SAGAL: It has reason to complain, but no, it's not...
FELBER: Suffer. It will get sick.
SAGAL: No. Well, it gets sick. It expresses itself being sick.
FELBER: It's a vomiting robot.
SAGAL: It's a vomiting robot, Adam. That's what it is.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Wow.
FELBER: Of course it is.
SAGAL: The robot is known as Vomiting Larry.
SAGAL: Really though, what's wrong with these scientists they didn't name him Ralph?
SAGAL: Anyway, what Larry looks like...
FELBER: Or Chuck?
SAGAL: Larry is used in the research into the spread of contagious disease. He looks like half a mannequin, the top half, modified to vomit. And they use him to see how far he can spread things through mechanical vomiting.
FELBER: How do you know if Larry's sick or just been drinking?
POUNDSTONE: Yeah, or...
FELBER: And does he go: I'm fine, I'm fine, don't worry?
FELBER: I can hold it together. I'm fine. Fine. Hang.
SAGAL: No, they need to make another robot to hold his head, I guess.
SAGAL: But no, I mean, it's a legitimate purpose. They're trying to find out these important things about human contagion. But still, can you imagine how hard it is for Vomiting Larry at robot parties? It's like, I'm C3PO; I speak thousands of languages. I'm the Terminator; I shoot stuff. I'm Vomiting Larry, blaaarrghhh.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.