LBR Med applies the pressure in the iYU

Capsix Robotics builds the world’s first massage device with a sensitive robot. The iYU massage robot with the integrated LBR Med aims to include massages into the daily life of people and make the lives of physiotherapists easier. 

Together with his wife Carole, François Eyssautier founded Capsix Robotics in Lyon in June 2015. Physiotherapist Stéphane Rollet is the third partner in the enterprise, founded with the aim of developing an automated massage device. This goal has been achieved with the completion of the iYU, which can almost entirely replicate the work of a masseur thanks to its complex technology. For this purpose, a sensitive and collaborative robot had to be integrated into the application. Capsix Robotics chose the LBR Med to meet the requirement. “We are the first to offer a robotic-based wellbeing massage,” says François Eyssautier, not without pride.
As part of iYU, the LBR Med enables robot-based wellbeing massages.

Integrating massages into daily life with a robotic assisted system

A good 80 percent of people like massages, but only 3 percent include them in their daily lives. Moreover, physiotherapists experience problems with their hands early on due to the great physical strain. This is where the iYU comes in,” says Eyssautier. After all, massage is a subtle interplay of precision and application of pressure – an ideal candidate for implementation by machine, especially as it is possible to respond to individual sensitivities of the users. The iYU comes in two versions: one for spas, hotels and companies, and one for sports, fitness and training centers.
The iYU-Team at MEDICA 2019: Carole Eyssautier, Guillaume Gibert and François Eyssautier (from left)

The long road to the finished massage robot

“We started with what we call the feel-good expert. We very soon had many inquiries from companies’ HR managers, who saw the iYU as an opportunity to reduce their employees’ stress and tensions." And it really works: "We have had very good feedback from companies using the massage application,” states Capsix’s CEO. In Capsix Robotics’ first year, the founder exchanged ideas with many physiotherapists and robotics experts as well as users and potential partners. In 2016, the company aimed to prove to skeptics that an application with a robot could perform a professional massage. “For this purpose, KUKA provided us with a robot to evaluate for one year. During a special training course, we acquired a deep understanding of the robot and its capabilities,” says Eyssautier, explaining the initial development steps.
Relaxation at the touch of a button with the iYU massage robot from Capsix Robotics.

Sensitivity and accuracy as key aspects of the massage robot

The three partners and their team developed a prototype of the iYU by the end of 2018, which was able to replicate the morphology of a real person and carry out a professional massage. “The LBR Med played an indispensable part in this, because it can implement the different massage programs safely and flexibly,” emphasizes Eyssautier. A crucial aspect here is the robot’s high sensitivity, which ensures that it applies the pressure exactly and also acts extremely safely when doing so.

The LBR Med works extremely precisely, both in its motions and when applying pressure, and executes the program with great accuracy. It is also very easy to operate. For us, it’s a really amazing robot.

François Eyssautier, Founder of Capsix Robotics

Overwhelming reactions to the relaxing robotic massages

In February 2019, the critical and most important phase started for Capsix Robotics – the first practical tests were on the agenda. Therefore, an iYU was set up at the headquarters of one of France’s three major telecommunications companies in Paris – and the response was overwhelming, as François Eyssautier exclaims: “All sessions were fully booked within half an hour. 98 percent of the employees were delighted with the massage and confirmed that it helps to reduce tension and stress.” The positive feedback made it easy for the developers to convince other companies of the idea. With Heineken, France Boissons, a distribution partner of Heineken, L’Oréal, AKKA Technologies, Alstom and APICIL, a French health insurer, one well-known company followed another.
The LBR Med is ideally suited for the use in the massage robot iYU due to its precision and flexibility. 

Music and adjustable massage modes ensure an individual relaxation massage

In order to enjoy a massage by the iYU, the user enters the massage room, logs into the system and chooses from a range of different massages. Additionally, it is possible to choose a musical accompaniment from a broad selection: from mood music or jazz to sophrology, there is something for every taste. The massage starts with the push of a button on the remote control. It can be stopped at any time, and the pressure can be individually adjusted during the massage.
The massage robot iYU provides relaxation in daily life.

Future applications made possible the LBR Med's flexibility

Capsix Robotics is currently working on a fully autonomous solution that will eliminate the need for any external intervention. But François Eyssautier does not think he has reached the end of the road yet, quite the contrary: “We know that our technology can be used in many other applications, most of them being performed on the human body. That’s why the LBR Med remains very important for us of course. I am thinking, for example, of laser therapy for removing tattoos, body hair or skin pigments. For the laser therapy, we need medical equipment. A robot certified for integration in medical products helps us greatly in this. That’s why the LBR Med is essential for the future of robotics.
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