Just for the feel of it
In 2013, Massage Robotics co-founder and CEO, Christian Mackin, had an off-road vehicle accident in the California sand dunes that left him with a broken neck and back. These multiple fractures required urgent stabilization using titanium implants (see pictures below). During physical therapy and rehabilitation, he imagined a robot that could help him (and others) feel better as well as relieve therapists from their repetitive work.
Christian Mackin | co-Founder & CEO
Christian has been a quintessential serial entrepreneur for 22 years. In 2006, he started Kohlex, a product-design and engineering firm with customers from Australia to America. Working with Startups to Fortune-500 companies, his staff of more than 30 engineers design products for the automation, military, medical, aerospace, consumer, and industrial fields. Christian knew his team of highly-skilled engineers could turn his vision of a massage robot into a working prototype.
In 2019, during a technical support call with Google Cloud Platform, their engineers became interested in our vision of a robot that would diagnose, prescribe, and perform a massage. Three months later, Google invested both its money and engineering resources. They worked collaboratively with Massage Robotics for two years to develop the Machine Learning, AI, and Natural Language Processing capabilities of the robot we call Alex.
*Images are computer generated demo versions. Product is still currently under development g
It is a unique experience to be touched by a massage robot. You won’t know until you know. You will have to feel it to understand it. The robot moves like a human and talks like a human, but Alex has superhuman memory. Alex uses Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence to recognize what you like and learn from it. After every massage, the robot is smarter. Alex is evolving.
If 92% of people believe massage therapy relieves pain and stress, then why don't they get massages? Also, 83% of people believe massages should be covered by their healthcare insurance (Source). We think most people believe massage therapy is a far better alternative to prescription drugs or surgery. So many roadblocks to a simple solution.
Robotic Perfection and Organic Creativity
We believe good design is both beautiful and intelligent. Our goal is to excite the senses and inspire the mind. We deliberately combined innovative materials with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Although robotic by design, Alex is personal, thoughtful, and attentive.
Alex is built on a cloud network that uses Machine Learning (ML) to understand what humans like. Every night, on schedule, Alex assimilates data from the "Borg-like" collective of all the robots. They are evolving to become better at diagnosing, predicting, and prescribing.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Safety and Automation
Alex is a cobot with six-axis robotic arms that meet international safety standards for Collaborative Robotics (Source). Alex is inherently safe. The robot is simply not heavy enough, fast enough, or strong enough to be dangerous to humans.
Alex has 2 six-axis robotic arms, each with an automatic tool changer. Interchangeable fitted attachments can deliver kneading, rolling, vibration, percussion, heat, electric pulse, and other therapeutic modalities. Guided by ML, Alex strings multiple segments together to create a personalized massage routine. Each segment is defined by cloud-stored parameters for tool, location, duration, path, speed, and force.
Motion and Voice Control
Alex biomimics the organic motions and touch pressures of a human therapist, based on algorithms and data stored in the cloud. Performing percussion, vibration, or kneading motions, Alex never gets tired - helping relieve your pain and decrease your stress.
Alex is enabled with Natural Language Processing powered by Dialogflow, which is the same platform used by Google Assistant. Using a normal voice, Alex can be guided to the left and right and to push harder or softer during the massage. Because Alex remembers every nudge, it will deliver a perfect massage every time.
We are rethinking the massage experience. We have developed a Massage Robotics Mobile App to enable Users to personalize their massage session. The mobile app is connected to the same cloud database and Recommendation Engine that the robot uses to create automated massage routines. Users can select from existing routines or create their own.
The mobile app screen layout allows Users to select from different categories of massage routines. We think the best category could be For You, which displays individualized recommendations based on AI and ML. In addition, the mobile app also provides other categories such as Ailments, Activities, Lifestyle, Sports, and Target Areas.
Select massage routines, customize, and share.The above rendering of the Company's app is currently available in the Apple App Store,
but not yet available to the public.
Calibration and Sharing
As part of the user profile setup, Alex collects and stores six calibration points (see figure below). These measured coordinates are used in a proprietary algorithm, which digitally morphs each routine to match any individual User's body shape. So a routine configured for the body shape of even the largest NFL football player can be shared with the tiniest ballerina.
Users can intuitively create personalized massage routines and then share the routines publicly or privately. A doctor can share with a patient, a celebrity with a fan, or friends within a social group. This network of Users will continuously create and share fresh routines, so you will never get bored.
Today's massage is evolving. We are disrupting the 5,000-year history of massage therapy (Source). We are creating a completely new massage experience in the $4 trillion wellness market. The global massage industry is valued at $110 billion in 2019. While the massage device market alone is estimated to be worth $10 billion in 2022, with a CAGR of 13.8% (Source). Over five years, we estimate that capturing only 1% of the 360,000 massage therapists in the United States (Source) will produce revenues greater than $1 billion based on our expected RaaS agreement terms once the product is commercially viable.
RaaS just makes sense!
Our business model is based on Robot-as-a-Service (Raas), which is planned to be implemented once the product reaches a commercially viable stage. The model is a monthly subscription-based B2B approach for wellness businesses across sectors, including healthcare, commercial, corporate, private, and government. Similar to the rise of SaaS (and then HaaS) -- which hit "tech" in Silicon Valley by storm - RaaS is gaining momentum across the world.
RaaS just makes sense. We are seeing all types of robots leaving the factory floor and entering restaurants and hospitality facilities. Our massage robots will soon be entering wellness clinics. Since buying a robot is expensive and they are a depreciating asset, RaaS allows companies to reduce capital expenditures and lower operating costs.