Weight loss robot, MIT, USA

Weight loss robot, MIT, USA

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This image is part of the feature Weight Loss Robot

Credit: SAM OGDEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Weight-loss robot coach. Pair of weight-loss robot coaches, known as Autom. This robot was created by US engineer Cory Kidd, a Ph.D. graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, and founder of robotics company Intuitive Automata. Autom is an interactive robot designed to advise and encourage users on their daily weight-loss regime. It has speech recognition sensors and cameras to detect the person. Users can talk directly to Autom or input their weight, diet and exercise data into the robot via the computer panel on the front. Autom responds with vocal encouragement. Experiments showed that robot users stayed on their weight-loss program nearly twice as long as dieters who used traditional computer programs or hand-written logs. Autom will be available for purchase in 2009.

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