Join us at TNW Conference 2022 for insights into the future of tech →

The heart of tech

This article was published on November 23, 2017

    Meet Somnox, a robot that could one day replace sleeping pills

    Alejandro Tauber
    Story by

    Alejandro Tauber

    Former Editor-in-Chief, TNW

    As robotics students at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, Julian Jagtenberg and the co-founders of Somnox were frequently exposed to the negative consequences of sleep deprivation. But being roboticists, they started looking for a mechanical solution to their problem. So instead of going for medication that can lead to addiction, Jagtenberg and his team developed Somnox, a soft, cuddly robot built to help people fall asleep.

    The robot is peanut-shaped and features a secret mechanism that’s supposed to simulate the expansion and contraction of breath in the robot. According to its creators, people who hold the robot up against their body soon fall into the same soothing breathing rythm of the robot, which should help them relax and fall asleep. Apparently, their invention garnered so many positive responses, that they decided to turn their university project into a company.

    After developing the product for a few years, the team is now confident enough in their product to start a crowdfunding campaign to fund production costs. Watch our video above to find out if it worked.