A recent Medgadget article discussed an innovative product intended to comfort medical patients during uncomfortable procedures. The soft fluffy robots have inflatable actuators that can hold a patient’s hand, mimicking the sensation of human touch. Research has shown that this creates a distraction and exerts a calming effect. The soft robots were developed in Japan, and so far they’ve been tested with volunteers who experienced a moderate heat stimulus, which caused minimal pain. The volunteers who had the comforting robots for support reported reduced pain levels, and their saliva tests yielded fewer stress biomarkers oxytocin and cortisol.