CES: Can robots replace a human touch? (Video)

Robotics have come a long way, but can a robot massage equal a chair massage given by a human?

Can technology replace the human touch? It’s an age old question on many levels. At CES today, I got the opportunity to provide an answer.

One of the big display areas I visited this afternoon was the robot zone. Among more traditional robots like the Roomba, was the WheeMe robot massager. The WheeMe boasts a light skin massage and the ability to not fall off your back (so long as you’re laying facedown).

After watching the a demo, I had to try out the WheeMe for myself. It was relaxing, I’ll admit. It almost felt like having a happy cat purring on your back... if that cat moved around on wheels. After that I came upon a booth offering chair massages. Needing a comparison, I had a twenty minute chair massage.

The comparison? The WheeMe was like a bath in a barely warm and cramped apartment bathtub while the real thing was like full sized Jacuzzi.

The robots are making progress, but they still have a way to go.

Here's some comparison video:

Ryan Faas writes about personal technology for ITworld. Learn more about Faas' published works and training and consulting services at www.ryanfaas.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanfaas.

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