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NEWS
Massage Robotics develops one of the world’s first life-sized massage robots
POSTED 17 Mar 2023 . BY Megan Whitby
Christian Mackin pictured with Massage Robotics life-sized AI-powered massage robot; Alex Credit: Massage Robotics
Brothers Christian and Sean Mackin are taking touchless therapy a step further by creating one of the first life-sized massage robots.

They’re 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.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Spa Business, Mackin explained 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’ll only offer a Robot-as-aService (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.”
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Uniting the world of spa & wellness
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News   Products   Magazine   Subscribe
NEWS
Massage Robotics develops one of the world’s first life-sized massage robots
POSTED 17 Mar 2023 . BY Megan Whitby
Christian Mackin pictured with Massage Robotics life-sized AI-powered massage robot; Alex Credit: Massage Robotics
Brothers Christian and Sean Mackin are taking touchless therapy a step further by creating one of the first life-sized massage robots.

They’re 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.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Spa Business, Mackin explained 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’ll only offer a Robot-as-aService (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.”
RELATED STORIES
Erin Lee founds Touchless Wellness Association with backing from Gharieni, Art of Cryo and Halotherapy Solutions


A new global industry organisation dedicated to touchless wellness therapies has been launched by industry consultant Erin Lee.
FEATURE: Spa People: Christian Mackin


We talk to the founder behind the first life-sized massage robot
AI-powered robotic manicures launching at US airport spas in 2023


Global health and wellness holding company XWell has partnered with Clockwork to launch AI- driven robot manicures in select US XpresSpa airport spas.
FEATURE: Talking point: The metaverse


As the internet becomes more ‘human and physical’, should you be jumping on board the fast-moving metaverse train sooner rather than later?
MORE NEWS
Light Centre secures £1.6 million to launch 10 new wellbeing centres across London
Middleton Enterprises, a UK-based family investment office, has committed £1.6 million (US$2.1 million, €1.9 million) in funding to the Light Centre – a network of medical, therapeutic and wellbeing centres with four locations in London.
Rianna Riego joins Seed to Skin as director of global business development
Rianna Riego, a seasoned professional in the wellness and spa industry, has been appointed director of global business development at Seed to Skin Tuscany, a premier Italian botanical skincare and spa brand.
Rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson joins the speaker lineup at the HCM Summit to share insights into his journey to health and wellbeing
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Woodland Spa to double footprint with £16m revamp, set to complete in August
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Elevate your offering with the new MSpa Duet
As a globally recognised provider of luxury spa solutions, MSpa is dedicated to bringing high-end spa experiences into more spa and wellness businesses and homes. [more...]

Snow’s holistic cool-down: Embracing inclusivity in post-sauna rituals
In the world of wellness, the age-old tradition of sauna bathing is synonymous with relaxation, detoxification and rejuvenation. But, a crucial and sometimes overlooked part of the journey is the all-important cooldown. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
TechnoAlpin

TechnoAlpin is the world leader for snowmaking systems. With the Indoor snow division, TechnoAlpin c [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

28-29 Jul 2024

Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference 2024

Southern Sun Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa
03-05 Sep 2024

ASEAN Patio Pool Spa Expo

IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS