Video: Personal Massage ‘Bot Drives Around Your Back For a Gentle Caress

A new robotic massager can roll over your body without falling off, providing a relaxing massage without any awkward conversation.

“WheeMe” is a palm-sized massage bot that looks like a miniature tank, or a weighted computer mouse with wheels. It works best on the body’s horizontal surfaces, according to DreamBots, its manufacturer, and is really designed for use on the back, while the person being massaged lies face-down. The WheeMe actually uses tilt sensors so it can roll around without falling off your side—in the video below, watch how it halts as soon as it travels too far across the torso.

As the robot rolls around, nylon “fingerettes” massage your body, which should appealing to those who find full-size fingers grotesquely large. The little guy weighs only 0.73 pounds, so it won’t exactly provide a deep tissue massage, but DreamBots promises “a delightful sense of bodily pleasure.”

The company was founded in 2008 and includes several Israeli robotics engineers. Two friends invented WheeMe 10 years ago, according to the company’s website.

Other therapeutic bots, like Paro the baby seal, respond to your caress. But if WheeMe and spongebathbot are any indication, future therapy bots will do all the touching.

WheeMe will make its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but you can pre-order them now. No word on how much they’ll cost, although we do know batteries are included. Still, just look at him: How much friendlier do robots get?

IEEE Spectrum