Vomiting Larry is a humanoid robot with a penchant for spewing sick not just forcefully, but in an anatomically accurate fashion. Why, you ask, would anybody create an anatomically correct, projectile-vomiting robot? We're so very glad you asked.

Maggie Koerth-Baker, who helped dig up this gem of a video, explains:

Larry is used to study the way particles of puke become aerosolized, and how those particles spread and help infect other people. That's important, because it explains one of the ways that viruses spread by vomiting manage to end up in everyday things like, say, frozen raspberries. Aerosolized vomit isn't something you can spot. It doesn't clean up easily. And even just a drop of it can pass on plenty of viruses.

Spew on, Larry. (More on norovirus — mentioned by researcher Ian Goodfellow in the video — in this great piece by Carl Zimmer.)

[Via boing boing]