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China's 'sperm extractor' is one truly bizarre invention

Posting in Design

From robot girlfriends to bidet toilets, the Japanese are known for their concerted efforts to incorporate gadgetry into just about every conceivable facet of life. But in China, this bizarre obsession is sometimes taken to a whole other level.

For instance, futuristic robotic toilets have gained popularity among the country's elite. And now, patients at the Zhengzhou Central Hospital have access to a $2,800 machine best described as a "sperm extractor."

Yes, it does exactly what it sounds like it does. Designed as an entirely automated and hands-free solution, the massaging device comes with a wide range of customizable features that allow patients to adjust the temperature, amplitude, frequency and speed to his liking. The machine also features a display screen and a surround sound system users can connect to using headphones.

Moments after a report about the sperm extractor was posted on the microblogging platform Weibo, word started to spread characterizing the invention as an easier way for men to “make that money standing up.” However, hospital director Zhu Guoxin says the one thing he wants to make clear is that the machine is not being used to collect donor sperm but rather to help treat those suffering from fertility problems.

"When male infertility patient come for treatment, we must first fully inspect the sperm which requires sperm extraction. This machine is only recommended for patients that had difficulty retrieving sperms, user must use a condom, but lubricant and chemicals on condoms will affect the accuracy of the test results," Zhu told Chinahush.

He also added: "Perhaps netizens misunderstood the usage of the machine, and thought it was used for sperm donation. In fact, sperm bank has very high standards; donors must go through strict medical examination and they will definitely not use a sperm extractor."

The sperm extractor has also been introduced in Nanjing hospital, capital of Jiangsu province.

-- via Global Post

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— By on September 25, 2012, 9:39 PM PST

Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure