FleXo: Flexible Exoskeleton for Therapeutic Touch
Can technology-enabled healthcare become more intimate?
When introducing robot or automated interactions into healthcare, a missing component is often human touch, a connection that communicates both emotion and energy. FleXo is a bioresponsive inflatable garment that facilitates the exchange of healing, therapeutic touch between a caregiver and a patient. This mediated touch is conveyed through FleXo’s silicone pneumatic elements for acupressure via visual and haptic feedback. The unique platform personalizes its inflatable actuation into a haptic language specific to the individual user. Throughout the experience of using FleXo, biosensing is employed to support and log emotional response and to continually adapt the soft exoskeleton’s behavior. As a wearable system, FLeXo supports both self-management and the use of mediated touch for wellbeing.