A Sleep Bot built for Snuggling

Netherlands-based Somnox claims that its eponymous product, the Somnox Sleep Robot which launched this month, is the first robot designed to help you sleep better.

A soft robot that you interact with by snuggling (or “spooning”, to use the company’s terminology), the Somnox Sleep Robot’s rhythmic movements and sounds are intended to lull you into a relaxed state, helping you fall asleep faster and stay snoozing for longer.

Design and features
When the Somnox Sleep Robot arrives, the first thing I notice is its weight. The robot weighs a hefty 2.5kg – much heftier than your average teddy bear. It is about 35cm long and shaped like a podgy jelly bean. Its robotic middle is coated in dense foam like that of a firm mattress or sofa cushion, upholstered in grey fabric (the robot is co-designed by Dutch mattress manufacturer Royal Auping). It smells of new car.

The combined shape and weight of the robot give the impression of a small baby, so that, lifting it out of its box, I instinctively make to cradle it. Somnox does little to discourage anthropomorphisation of its product; alongside the instruction manual it includes a “birth certificate” for the sleep robot. I christen mine Snoozle and decide that it is a “him”.

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