Who do you turn to when you are badly in a need of massage after the long day at office? Or do you find it hard to book an appointment with a therapist for a muscle strain on short notice? What if you had your own personal robot to ease your pain? AiTreat, a Singapore startup has designed a robot therapist named Emma (Expert Manipulative Massage Automation) which helps in relieving muscle strains and injuries.
The robot has a 3D-stereoscopic camera for vision, and a customised, fully rotatable 3D-printed massage tip. Several safety features which work in tandem with advanced pressure sensors are also in-built. They ensure the comfort and the safety of its patients. Also, Emma has a user-friendly interface and recommended guidelines for various sports injuries.
To ensure a consistent quality of therapy, Emma has sensors and diagnostic functions that will measure the progress of the patient and the exact stiffness of a particular muscle or tendon. This robotic massage therapist will help patients in relieving their muscle strains and injuries. Emma might be the first such robot to have been developed sports therapists which can consistently deliver high quality therapy. It will also make up for the shortage of trained therapists in Singapore.
Zhang, the founder of AiTreat, added,
Our aim is not to replace the therapists who are skilled in sports massage and acupoint therapy, but to improve productivity by enabling one therapist to treat multiple patients with the help of our robots.
Emma was designed by Zhang based on his experience as a licensed TCM physician in Singapore for five years. So far, it has treated 50 patients with different conditions, such as tennis elbows, stiff neck and shoulders, lower back pain, as well as muscle pulls.
Utility and availability
Physicians will continue to consult patients and perform physical check-ups, assessing which massages and methods are best- while leaving Emma to the heavy-duty work. Through more scientific research and development, AiTreat wants to make this ancient medical practice better understood and use it to preserve health. However, Emma is still not available commercially in markets. It is currently undergoing a number of trails at a medical institution.
Zhang further added that,
Basically, you build a work flow to tell the robot what to do. Then the robot will do the hard and tedious, time-consuming work. After that, the physician can do the manipulations and the acupuncture. If the physician has a lot of patients; if he’s very popular, he can have an assistant to help them operate several robots at the same time, to serve more people and charge a lower price.
Incubated by NTUitive, AiTreat designs and integrates assistive medical robots to assist doctors/physicians to provide medical care to patients.