Robots may soon replace humans as our go-to friends, just as most of us never leave home without our cell phones. It certainly seems so based on recent trials by Japanese researchers who created a handheld soft robot that can enhance patients’ experiences during injections. This has taken being tech-savvy to a whole new level.
Meet Releibo, a fluffy Robot, The Injection Assistant
The scientists created a soft, fluffy robot called Reliebo that had numerous miniature airbags that could inflate in reaction to the motions of the participant’s hand.
Researchers put the device through a series of tests based on the participant’s hand clenching while the unpleasant thermal stimulation was applied. Researchers also assessed cortisol and oxytocin levels.
Releibo, at Your Service
Regardless of the experimental circumstances employed, the researchers discovered that holding the robot helped patients feel better, and they hypothesized that the robot may have also triggered the emotions of well-being that human touch can produce. This can be useful when an actual human touch is not feasible like during a pandemic.
Future iterations of the robot might employ controlled gaze or even augmented reality (AR) technology to divert patients’ attention from their discomfort.