Artificial Intelligence: Emma, a Robotic Masseuse To Take Away Aches And Pains

September 2, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News

EMMA has been developed by AiTreat, a Singaporean start-up.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been used for thousands of years for various afflictions, including the treatment of body pain and acupuncture. Singaporean start-up AITreat has brought robotics to the field of TCM. EMMA is able to perform the Tui Na, a kind of TCM deep tissue massage. (CNN Health)


EMMA (or, “Expert Manipulative Massage Automation”) uses sensors and 3D vision to measure muscle stiffness and identify pressure points while delivering a massage to patients seeking pain relief and relaxation.

A number of studies have suggested that a massage can boost the body’s immune system by lowering a person’s stress levels, thereby lowering the chances of sickness. Massages are also said to boost white blood cell count, and to listen the number of headaches a person suffers.

According to AiTreat, which quoted the Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, patients suffering from depression and anxiety were less stressed and more relaxed and contented after receiving a massage.

However, massages can be expensive and sometimes, even inexpert. But robotics combined with TCM can be an effective and scientific solution.

“The principle of traditional Chinese medicine is all about personalized treatments,” says AiTreat founder and CEO Albert Zhang, adding that EMMA is “highly flexible and customizable.”

 It is Zhang’s hope that EMMA could herald the arrival of low-cost and consistent massages that could benefit patients and play a role in preventive medicine.


High-tech start-up AiTreat, headquartered in Singapore, was founded in 2015 to develop cutting-edge healthcare technology.

It seeks to create robotic systems for soft tissue therapeutic treatments to tackle the scarcity of skilled massage therapists, while simultaneously providing world-class healthcare treatment at affordable costs.

Related Story: At Its First AI Day, Tesla Unveils A Humanoid Robot

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