Hug machine puts the squeeze on autism
Prof. Mary Temple Grandin is a high-functioning autistic, and is an outspoken advocate for people with autism spectrum disorders. Among other things, she invented what is known as a "hug machine," which reportedly calms hypersensitive people by gently exerting even pressure along their bodies. While some individuals have made their own over the years, Denmark's Gloria Mundi Care is now offering a commercial version, called the OrbisBox.
The idea behind the device is simple.
Users start by lying down on their back or on either side. Fabric-covered polyurethane foam side panels then slowly move in and press against them from the sides. The amount of pressure can be adjusted in 5-kg increments from levels of 10 to 30 kg (22 to 66 lb), with users able to get out at any point they want.
If they wish, users can add to the relaxing effect by activating colored LED lighting and soothing music (or other sounds) played through built-in Bose speakers. The whole thing weighs 240 kg (529 lb), and can be moved around on its wheels.
It's recommended not only for autistics, but for anyone suffering from stress. That bliss does come at a price, however – if you want an OrbisBox of your own, be prepared to pay US$35,000.
It can be seen in action, in the following video.
Source: Gloria Mundi Care (Danish)