I’ve been following Autom for years now, first interfacing with this happy little robot in China and then watching her grow into a young, intelligent diet robot. What does she do? She’s designed to help you lose weight by talking to you every day and getting to know your habits and peccadilloes.
Autom sits on your counter and asks what you’re eating. You tell her, through on-screen prompts, and she reminds you to weigh yourself and gives you moral support. Although you wouldn’t think a little plastic robot could help people shed the pounds, you’d be surprised by what a non-judgmental, plastic baby can do for your self-esteem. During testing, users began to dress their robots up in funny clothes and came to consider them friends.
You could argue that iPhone apps and other tools can do Autom’s job much more cheaply. However, the designers built Autom in a way that lets users interact with her in unique and highly personalized ways, ensuring you never get bored or forget to keep track of your food intake. She’s like a personal trainer that can’t move.
Quoth the website:
Autom costs $199 and the weight loss service, which includes nutrition help, costs $20 a month. They’re offering TechCrunch readers free shipping with the coupon code “FREE_SHIPPING_CRUNCH” and we’ll be testing (and giving away) an Autom when they start sending them out.