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Christian Mackin

Clients verbally communicate with the massage robot to adjust its motion path or pressure


Brothers Christian and Sean Mackin are taking touchless therapy a step further by creating one of the first life-sized massage robots.

They are co-founders of tech start-up Massage Robotics and have launched an AI-powered robot, named Alex, which is attached to a motorised bed and has two arms with interchangeable attachments to deliver a range of therapeutic techniques, such as kneading, rolling, vibrations, heat or electric pulses.

Users can select pre-existing massage routines from an app, create their own or verbally communicate with Alex to adjust its motion path or pressure in real time.

“The robot remembers client preferences so it can deliver a perfect massage every time,” explains Christian, co-founder and CEO, who owns a product design and engineering firm.

The inspiration for Massage Robotics came to him in 2013 following a severe off-road accident which left him with a broken back and neck. He says: “During physical therapy and rehabilitation, I imagined a robot that could both help me (and others) feel better as well as relieve therapists from their repetitive work.”

The Mackins believe robots will solve many problems facing the massage therapy industry; labour shortages, issues with body privacy, lingering nerves about close contact and COVID-19, as well as affordability and time management.

“We will only offer a Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) monthly subscription for B2B wellness clinics,” says Christian, as the cost of the device is not practical for most operators. He anticipates the RaaS will be equal to a therapist’s monthly salary and that “pricing will be competitive to make a strong business case in markets across the world”.

He explains: “While a typical person may work around 2,000 hours per year, a robot is potentially capable of working 8,000 hours, so can be significantly more productive.”

That said, Christian is keen to emphasise that Massage Robotics isn’t trying to replace the vital role of human touch in spas. “I know introducing a robot into a 5,000-year-old, human-centric therapy is disruptive but we’re not trying to make a robotic hand that exactly replicates a human hand.

“We’re designing a robot that can approximate some therapeutic modalities and using biomimicry to apply those therapies. Using video recordings, we capture the human motions and then design algorithms that recreate them through the robot.

“It’s a unique experience to be touched by a massage robot. You have to feel it to understand it. The robot moves like a human and talks like a human, but Alex has superhuman memory.”

‘Alex’ – powered by AI – is one of the first life-sized massage robots Credit: photo: Massage Robotics
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News   Products   Magazine   Subscribe
Spa People
Christian Mackin

Clients verbally communicate with the massage robot to adjust its motion path or pressure


Brothers Christian and Sean Mackin are taking touchless therapy a step further by creating one of the first life-sized massage robots.

They are co-founders of tech start-up Massage Robotics and have launched an AI-powered robot, named Alex, which is attached to a motorised bed and has two arms with interchangeable attachments to deliver a range of therapeutic techniques, such as kneading, rolling, vibrations, heat or electric pulses.

Users can select pre-existing massage routines from an app, create their own or verbally communicate with Alex to adjust its motion path or pressure in real time.

“The robot remembers client preferences so it can deliver a perfect massage every time,” explains Christian, co-founder and CEO, who owns a product design and engineering firm.

The inspiration for Massage Robotics came to him in 2013 following a severe off-road accident which left him with a broken back and neck. He says: “During physical therapy and rehabilitation, I imagined a robot that could both help me (and others) feel better as well as relieve therapists from their repetitive work.”

The Mackins believe robots will solve many problems facing the massage therapy industry; labour shortages, issues with body privacy, lingering nerves about close contact and COVID-19, as well as affordability and time management.

“We will only offer a Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) monthly subscription for B2B wellness clinics,” says Christian, as the cost of the device is not practical for most operators. He anticipates the RaaS will be equal to a therapist’s monthly salary and that “pricing will be competitive to make a strong business case in markets across the world”.

He explains: “While a typical person may work around 2,000 hours per year, a robot is potentially capable of working 8,000 hours, so can be significantly more productive.”

That said, Christian is keen to emphasise that Massage Robotics isn’t trying to replace the vital role of human touch in spas. “I know introducing a robot into a 5,000-year-old, human-centric therapy is disruptive but we’re not trying to make a robotic hand that exactly replicates a human hand.

“We’re designing a robot that can approximate some therapeutic modalities and using biomimicry to apply those therapies. Using video recordings, we capture the human motions and then design algorithms that recreate them through the robot.

“It’s a unique experience to be touched by a massage robot. You have to feel it to understand it. The robot moves like a human and talks like a human, but Alex has superhuman memory.”

‘Alex’ – powered by AI – is one of the first life-sized massage robots Credit: photo: Massage Robotics
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FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Countdown begins for World Spa and Wellness 2024 London
The World Spa & Wellness London Convention is back from 3-4 March at ExCeL London and is a fantastic opportunity for spa professionals to network and learn from industry leaders, with lots of chances to develop your business and career. [more...]

The art of high-end wellbeing: Iyashi Dôme, where elegance and technology collide
Iyashi Dôme, a name synonymous with excellence in the world of wellbeing, is celebrating two decades of refinement and innovation. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Book4Time Inc.

Founded in 2004, Book4Time is a global leader in spa, wellness and leisure activity management solut [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

02-04 Mar 2024

World Spa & Wellness Conference

Excel exhibition and conference centre , London, United Kingdom
03-05 Mar 2024

IBS New York

Javits Convention Center, New York, United States
+ More diary  
 


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Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

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