flex0FleXo is a remote physiotherapist with personalized healing touch. By reading mood, biosensors personalize the inflatable acupressure points and healing light frequencies. As a future healthcare tool derived from traditional healing arts, FleXo seeks to realign the body-mind for optimal wellbeing today. FleXo is part of a system that connects to a professional and is also worn stand alone for self-care.

FleXo – flexibFlexo_logole exoskeleton for therapeutic touch – is a bioresponsive garment that communicates healing touch between a caregiver and patient.

When introducing robot or automated interactions in healthcare, the missing component is human touch. Healing touch is a connection that communicates emotion and energy. Many forms of coaching and physical therapy depend on physical touch. Physical touch is essential for wellbeing, and greatly enhances therapeutic effectivity. Right now, it is almost impossible to convey this sense of touch in a mediated sense. While the available time for coaching or therapy by professional therapists is limited. A wearable device which can emulate physical touch can fill this need.



FleXo is a wearable soft exoskeleton to facilitate healing therapeutic touch. As a wearable system, FLeXo offers self management and communication of acupressure and healing light frequency to create mediated touch for wellbeing.

The unique platform of extimacy – emotive biomedia – personalizes the inflatable actuation into a new haptic language.

  • Mediated touch is conveyed with silicone pneumatics mapped to acupressure points.
  • Biosensing is employed to read and log emotional response to personalize experience.
  • Breathing rhythm is illuminated in the vest: blue inhale, teal exhale, to showcase mood.
  • Healing white light frequencies pair with the acupressure.

Extimacy – externalized intimacy – is Sensoree’s concept of translating physiological states, or “mood” into visual, auditory, or tactile forms. This real-time biofeedback is a tool for self awareness and expression. Extimacy gives the body a voice, which helps facilitate patient caregiver interactions, in person and remotely.



Co-designed with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, FleXo maps acupressure points for wellbeing.

A Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner worked along side us to co-design the form and function. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each organ can cause or be affected by a specific emotion and this relieving emotions and stagnation in an organ will allow the body to recover from sympathetic states and return to the parasympathetic. They advised to map points known to regulate the nervous system. Several Back Shu points of the Urinary Bladder meridian (UB) which enters the brain and connects the heart were chosen. The Back Shu points are located bilateral next to the spine. Interesting to note, these are also the general points prescribed for the Autism Spectrum.

They also helped us define the shape of the silicone inflatable to feel like the pressure from a finger. And furthermore, the implementation of light frequencies that are noted to be similar to effects of acupuncture needles.

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Flexo User Interface for Customization of Acu-points with a Scalable Laser-cutting Pattern

FleXo offers a system to personalize size and location of the points. To design a personalized acu-point pattern, we noted the body based measurements of acupuncture and mapped a software system to locate the meridians based on boney spinal alignment. The shape is the center back panel of the FleXo. Blue points are to be mapped on to acupressure points on the back and shoulders. The pattern has many handles to drag to scale for multiple sizes. Then, it is able to be laser-cut. Finally, the modular pneumatics and hardware can easily pop in. This enables a customized and personalized acupressure vest.


FLeXo Credits:

Kristin Neidlinger – Concept Design Lead
Edwin Dertien – Soft Robotics Lead
Naveen Setty – Soft Robotics
Kelly Van Tol – Creative Technology
Edwin Hoogerwoord – Personalization

Special thanks to Wear Sustain team:
Kristi Kuusk – mentor
Marina Toeters – textile
DFKI – Wearable AI Lab – Hub

Claudia Venn L.Ac. – Traditional Chinese Medicine Advisor
Barbara Koelen-Speets – Colorpuncture Advisor

Local Androids – Photo and Video
Beautiful Machines – Music
Roy Smits – Dwingeloo Radio Telescope Driving and Props


FleXo – Flexible exoskeleton from SENSOREE on Vimeo Wear Sustain.


FleXo – Flexible exoskeleton for therapeutic use – is a recipient of Wear Sustain Horizon 2020 Funding.