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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Automatic Massager  
  An autonomous massage machine with robotic arms and hands.  

After being asleep for decades while traveling between the stars, some manipulations of the body are helpful.

Slowly, I pushed my hand toward the edge of the bed. Click! My fingers pressed the button that was there. There was a faint hum. The automatic massager began to fumble gently over my naked form.

First, it rubbed my arms; then it moved to my legs and so on over my body. As it progressed, I could feel the fine slick of oil that oozed from it working into my dry skin.

A dozen times I could have screamed from the pain of life returning. But in an hour I was able to sit up and turn on the lights.

From Far Centaurus, by A.E. van Vogt.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1944
Additional resources -

In another part of the story, they are described as having "gentle, padded hands."

In his earlier novel (1941) Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein wrote about care needed by somnolents in cold sleep.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Far Centaurus
  More Ideas and Technology by A.E. van Vogt
  Tech news articles related to Far Centaurus
  Tech news articles related to works by A.E. van Vogt

Automatic Massager-related news articles:
  - RehaBot Physical Therapy Robot Proposed
  - Motorika Robot Therapy Helps Stroke Patients

Articles related to Medical
Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery

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