Project Description

HUG is a pneumatic garment that creates a sensation of a hug without the proximity of another person. It is the first prototype in a project exploring artificial empathy to be used independently or with a friend (tube 1,5 m). The prototype is inspired by “hugging” jackets, used in so-called deep-pressure therapy for autistic children, imitating the expression of embodied human empathy. It builds on Kaisu Koski's research on clinical empathy education, exploring the haptic interfaces’ capacity to comfort in mental–physiological distress. The prototype utilizes recycled materials from lockdown online order packaging. 

This initial prototype is created prior to collaboration with the previously mentioned disciplines, both to familiarize with the pneumatic sensations before co-creating the idea further, and due to the pandemic social distancing.

Translational Perspective

It is translating a mechanism of an existing wearable health care application into a new prototype with new materials, both of which emerge from the limitations in actual human contact during the pandemic. This prototype also informs further models of interactive hugging garments.

Kaisu Koski
Contact Infomation: First name
Contact Information: Last name
Contact Information: Position title
Associate Professor
Contact Information: Institutional affiliation
Sheffield Hallam University
Contact Information: Email address
k.koski [at]

Sheffield, England, UK