Thank you both for your replies.
The units of hug force can be what ever you would like them to be. The end result of the hug only needs to be an audio and visual representation of how tight the person is squeezing the torso. I would rather not make it more complex than it needs to be, no need to over think it.
I have no code, I have no hardware, I have no knowledge of how to do any of this other than basic theory.
The sensors that my techie friends directed me to are the Interlink Electronics FSR-402 Force Sensing Resistor. http://www.trossenrobotics.com/productdocs/2010-10-26-DataSheet-FSR402-Layout2.pdf
I have though about doing Pneumatics and hydraulics. The draw back I have with those is that this project will be dragged across America by an nontechnical person. If a leak were to develop the piece would need to come back for repairs. If it is possible to keep everything to a single technology that would be great (being electrical circuitry).
The time line for this project to be completed is 2 week from yesterday (not joking). If either you (or anyone else reading this) have solid know how to make this project happen I am will to continue communications offline. To get this project completed.