World’s first finger-simulated, head-massaging robot

Massage robots have been around for a while but may rise in importance in the new now. Here’s a look at one that was recently developed. 

As we come out of quarantine, we can all probably imagine that the level of personal contact in spa and wellness is going to change. What that means for such a high touch industry will probably be different for every business. Spa is an industry in which personal connection and the physical contact of a massage or body treatment is a big draw for many. So, while we can be pretty sure that our massage therapists and similar service providers will still have a place in our future, we can also envision some clients wanting the experience of a massage or other treatment without the human contact. This is where robotics might come in. 

Massage robots

Over the years there have been several developments in massage-related robotics, and as some customers may shy away from human touch and contact, it might be wise for those in the industry to be aware of what is available to those consumers both for their own at home use and for potential use in spas, perhaps in conjunction with other treatments. 

Existing massage robots include the Gtech massaging bed, MYO Touch, a contoured bed with a powered robotic massage roller underneath; and Expert Manipulative Massage Automation, aka, EMMA, developed at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. EMMA specializes in back and knee massages, mimicking the human palm and thumb to replicate therapeutic massages such as shiatsu and physiotherapy.

Designed to make the user feel as though someone is massaging their temple

Recently a new robot came on the scene: LEROU, the Precision Mechanical Transmission Head Massaging Robot, developed in Shenzen, China. LEROU is a personal head massager designed to make the user feel as though someone is massaging their temples. LEROU purports to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, and can apparently be used at almost any time, including while walking and during work, without disrupting tasks. 

A press release states: 

“Many people these days feel burned out from stress, feel irritated and unable to calm down, have poor sleep quality or are unable to sleep at night, all of which eventually causes a poor mental state and causes people to be inefficient at work.

“Introducing LEROU Robot, a personal head massager that makes people feel relaxed and comfortable without obstructing work. When using it, people will truly feel as if someone is massaging their temples. It is designed to make people feel relaxed and sleepy, and ultimately improves sleep quality. LEROU Robot will change the way people sleep and relax.” 

LEROU only needs to be positioned on the user’s head and will remain in place during use. 

According to the campaign Kickstarter page, LEROU differs from most conventional head massagers on the market in that it simulates manual massage movements rather than simply using vibration, airbag compression, or a micro-current and other ways. 

“LEROU Robot uses physical-mechanical transmission, allowing the mechanism to fully simulate finger massages that will bring you to a very relaxed state without any side effects. We are sure that once you use it, you will keep using it again because of the comfort it provides.”

At time of writing LEROU was selling at an early bird price on Kickstarter for $169.