Manikin used to study effects of extreme heat on humans

The world's first outdoor sweating, breathing and walking manikin, named Andi, is on Arizona State University's campus where researchers explain how Andi will be used.

Andi isn't a typical manikin.

"Ours is custom, made to go out in the real hot, dusty Arizona environment routinely," said Konrad Rykaczewski, an associated professor of mechanical engineering at ASU.

It'll allow researchers to simulate different heat-exposure scenarios.

"In terms of the time course of a human experiencing hot environments of heat stress to heat strain, rising core temperature and that resulting in heat stroke or hypothermia that can put them in the hospital or dead," said Jennifer Vanos, an associated Professor at ASU.

Vanos says the manikin can be programmed to different body types and health levels.

"Humans are different. Our body shapes are different. The way we thermal regulate can differ depending on our age, or our sex, or our fitness level and so with Andi, we can program all those different factors in," she said.

The manikin is put in situations humans may not survive – setting this study apart from other research that only uses human subjects.

"We don't know exactly what's always happening over that time course in a human because it's dangerous to be studying that and with Andi, we can put him in these dire environments and see what could happen if they died," Vanos said.

This study will help understand what body temperatures are like for a wide variety of people, including people living in mobile homes where the A/C goes out or people experiencing homelessness.

"With human subjects in a study, you may only be allowed to have their core temperature rise to 104 degrees, but with Andi, we can let it rise to 109°F where we would start to see people experiencing hypothermia and potential death," Vanos said.

There are 10 of these manikins around the globe. The one ASU has is one of two being used for research.