The Personal Robots Group at MIT researches on social affective touch for robots and designs robotic teddy bear! Recently Cory Kidd completed a PhD from the group and started a company: Intuitive Automata Inc.
Intuitive Automata Inc. creates robots that can help you in your everyday life. By applying new research in sociable robotics, the company is developing robots that can talk, see you, and help you in many ways.
Their first product is Autom™, a robotic weight loss coach, designed to help people who are trying to lose or keep off weight. Autom helps by encouraging you to stick with your diet for long enough to create long-term change and keep extra pounds off!
The research that led to this product started at the MIT Media Laboratory in the Personal Robots Group. Their earlier results in controlled Human-Robot Interaction studies have shown that a robot can be seen as more credible and informative than a character on the screen. Hence, there is reason to believe that a robot may be a more effective mechanism for conveying the behavior change message. Results showing that a robot can be more engaging than an animated character lends itself to the possibility of creating a set of longitudinal interactions, or a relationship, that is longer-lasting than previous techniques and therefore also more likely to have the opportunity to create long-term behavior change.
Posted by Cati Vaucelle