Rubs people the right way

TCM Robot Therapist Could Help out Physicians

Robot Therapist

This robot massage therapist from Singapore uses 3D printed parts. It could be the perfect therapist… it’ll never get tired of massaging (and listening) to you.

The start-up company, AiTreat, unveiled their new robot which is called Emma, or Expert Manipulative Massage Automation.

Emma can assist Chinese physicians and physiotherapists by giving targeted medical massages. Founder of AiTreat, Albert Zhang, created Emma to address the shortage of trained therapists in China.

Zhang, who graduated from Nanyang Technological University‘s (NTU’s) and is a licensed TCM practitioner, said:

“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.”

lim jia min

How Does This TCM Robot Therapist Work?

Emma uses proprietary software and but appears simply to be a robotic arm with a rotatable and customized 3D printed massage tip on the end.

It also has a 3D stereoscopic camera in order to “see” meaning Emma can measure a patient’s progress and the stiffness of a tendon or muscle too. The  diagnostics taken with Emma’s sensors and detailed diagnostic functions can be uploaded to the cloud making it easy to monitor progress and help therapists improve treatments.

Patient trials began last week at Kin Teck Tong’s Sports Science and Chinese Medicine Clinic at the Kallang Wave Mall. Since then, Emma has treated 50 patients with conditions ranging from a stiff neck and shoulders to tennis elbows.

National basketballer Leon Kwek,  praised the idea behind Emma, saying: “For a team sport like ours, it’s a lot of work for our sports trainers if they have to handle all 12 of us coming for treatment.”


AiTreat intends on renting out the therapist robot to other TCM clinics as well as developing a second-generation robot that is more mobile and compact.

“What we have demonstrated is the possibility of having a tireless clinical massage therapist that always delivers high-quality treatments,” Zhang said.

(Source: Straits Times)