Danish company creates hugging machine for people with Autism

The box has built-in speakers to play soothing music. (representative image.) Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Jun 27, 2016, 03.23 AM (IST)
A Denmark-based company has developed a hugging machine called OrbisBox to help calm people with autism.

The device is 163 centimeters tall, 85 cm wide and 223 cm in length. It can be transported to different locations and contains side plates covered with polyurethane foam.

The device is said to be a commercial model based on Dr Temple Grandin’s invention of the “hug machine.” Dr. Grandin is a world renowned spokesperson for autism, who created the device when she in college.

Once the user is inside the OrbisBox, the side plates will start to move in and press against them, mimicking the sense of a hug. The weight of the pressure can be adjusted from 10 kg to 30 kg.

The box has built-in speakers to play soothing music. Lighting can also be changed to make the user feel more relaxed.

Autism is a complex brain development disorder which, scientists say, likely affects boys five times more than it does girls. Signs of autism may include difficulties in social interaction, strange attachment to objects and unawareness to danger.

Due to their hypersensitivity, people with autism are often uncomfortable or unable to seek comfort from other people.

Autism is a growing developmental disorder in the US that it currently affects roughly two per cent of teenage boys, or one in 42 boys, according to Autism Speaks.