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This Robot Can Give a Better Chinese Massage Than a Human, Apparently
author:Richard Lai source:RADII 2024-06-04 [Medicine]
Robotic arms are already common in the fields of manufacturing, food services and even art installations, but it turns out that they can also give you a nice massage. At BEYOND Expo 2024, Shenzhen-based DeyeeMed showed off its Thermal King AI Physiotherapy Robot. While it’s not the first robotic arm masseur, it’s one of the first to apply principles from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).


Specifically, this robot can be equipped with a pebble probe for deep-tissue hot stone therapy, which helps with body firming as well as blood circulation and body detox. There’s also a metallic probe for radiofrequency treatment. Both probes also offer red light therapy for skincare, and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) for improving blood circulation and soothing soreness.



“Our robotic arm directly contacts the skin and uses Chinese-style massage techniques, including pressing and kneading, mimicking the process of human hand massage to match the softness and strength of human touch as closely as possible,” DeyeeMed representative Lily Liu explained.


Apart from earning bragging rights, getting a massage from a robot has more benefits, apparently. DeyeeMed claims that its machines can dig deeper into tissue, and are therefore better at effectively regulating internal circulation over a shorter session. Human massage therapists, however, may struggle to replicate this level of performance, let alone maintain consistency.


This author, along with another colleague, took up an offer for a quick 10-minute robotic back massage each, and the experience was just as good, if not better, than a session with a human massage therapist. If we had time, I would have totally gone for the recommended 45-minute full session, even if it meant some bystanders would get an unexpected glimpse of my butt crack!


DeyeeMed believes that the simplicity of operating its robots — just a few taps on a smart tablet-like interface — will help clinics and other businesses deploy them with ease. “Essentially, one or two people can manage three to five machines in a store for efficient deployment,” Liu added.


Better yet, with the power of AI, DeyeeMed can leverage its growing database to train and optimize its massage programs. The improved algorithms can then be remotely deployed to the massage robots at the clinics.


DeyeeMed has been developing a range of massage therapy and facial treatment robots since 2019, with a mission to address the shortage of personnel in the clinical industry. This is especially the case for traditional Chinese medical practices, especially outside of China. As such, the company has set up an office in Spain, and earlier this year it attended Dubai’s Arab Health 2024 expo.



The Thermal King AI Physiotherapy Robot costs somewhere between 150,000 to 200,000 RMB per unit, so it’s not something that you’d normally take home. For now, DeyeeMed’s massage robots can be found in key regions in China, including Guangdong, Shanghai, Liaoning, Sichuan, Chongqing, and Northeast China. If you’re lucky, you may also spot some in Singapore and Taiwan.


All images by Wayne Hon.