HUG™ by LAUGH is a sensory product that is designed to be cuddled, or ‘cwtched’ as we love to say here in Wales. Its long weighted limbs and beating heart emulates the joy of a human hug. You can even connect your bluetooth to HUG and listen to your favourite music!

Image: HUG by LAUGH

HUG has been developed from academic research led by Professor Cathy Treadaway at Cardiff Metropolitan University. A spin out company, HUG by LAUGH, has brought the product to market in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society. Also part of the team are HUG by LAUGH’s Managing Director, Dr Jac Fennell and Technical Director, Aidan Taylor. 

The team at HUG have collaborated with many people living with dementia and their families, as well as professional carers, to create, develop, and evaluate the HUG design. The team have also worked closely with over 70 organisations, including Alzheimer’s Society and NHS, to develop HUG as an award-winning product. Their involvement ensures HUG is useful and safe to use at home, in residential care and in hospitals.

Image: Cardiff Metropolitan University

Chris Maddocks, Ambassador for a number of charities including Alzheimer’s Society, The Lewy Body Society and the National Activity Providers Association is a huge fan of HUG, stating “As a person affected by dementia, I fully endorse HUG… Everybody needs a HUG!”.

The research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Welsh Government. Knowledge gained from two research projects: LAUGH (2015-18) and LAUGH EMPOWERED (2018-2020), have helped HUG create, develop, and evaluate its design. In 2021, HUG was awarded Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator funding that enabled the manufacture of HUG to ensure it was widely available for anyone to buy. The partnership with Alzheimer’s Society means that every HUG sold contributes to future dementia research and design innovation.

Image: AME Productions


More information about HUG and its availability to buy is available from their website here.

Author WCS

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