By Andrew Liszewski
Sticking to a diet or weight loss plan is a lot easier when you have a little positive reinforcement. And that seems to be what inspired MIT alum Cory Kidd to create Autom. She’s billed as a robotic weight loss coach, but that’s maybe being a little generous with the term ‘robot’. Her head and eyes do move, but otherwise she’s mostly just a stationary touchscreen tablet that lets you keep track of your nutritional and exercise habits. It’s her software, though, that makes Autom really effective. Every day multiple users can have conversations with her where they input their meals, or how much physical activity they got in throughout the day. Autom will then provide praise, or encouragement, depending on how close they are to achieving their weight loss goals.
I actually think it’s a great way to help a diet be successful, I just wish Autom wasn’t so expensive. She’s available for pre-order for just $195, but when she ships the remaining balance is an additional $670. For a total of $865, plus a monthly subscription plan of $79.95! I’m not sure how that compares to other weight loss plans, but it seems all of Autom’s functionality could also be provided via a considerably cheaper iPad app.