People hugging

Neuro-Hug Project

A group of students and academics from Dublin City University, Maynooth University and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics collaborated on an innovative project to participate in, a Brain-Computer Interface Hackathon.

Their project, titled "Neuro-Hug: Restoring Affection To Those Who Need It Most", seeks to provide individuals who have lost motor function with a unique way to share affection with their loved ones through a "hug vest". The team behind the idea consists of Sonal Santosh Baberwal (DCU), Haitham Elamin (DCU, Mechatronic Engineering Year 4), Dr Shirley Coyle (DCU), Sandra-Carina Noble (Maynooth), Eva Woods (Maynooth), and Hasana Bagnall Hare (Maynooth).


Motor neuron disease, traumatic brain injury and many other forms of diseases can lead to the diminishment of motor function in individuals. In turn, they can have highly debilitating effects for patients not only physically but also socially. Individuals with diminished motor function have needs to share affection with loved ones through simple actions such as a hug. However, due to their illness, this ability has been taken away from them. Compression/sensory garments have widely been used therapeutically for the regulation of physiological and behavioural responses in individuals with sensory processing disorders. The idea of the "Neuro-Hug: Restoring Affection To Those Who Need It Most" project is to use a “hug vest”. Through the use of an EEG Cap, which monitors brain signals, the individual can trigger a compression vest worn by their loved one. This will simulate a hug and restore affection between them despite physical limitations.