Imagine having a robot at your bedside or in your kitchen that coaches you on your health. It might not be the same as having Jillian Michaels rushing into your bedroom at the crack of dawn and screaming at you to get up and start running laps around the neighborhood, but a little encouragement coupled with some scientifically backed wisdom never hurts.
Enter Autom, a robot that not only helps you keep track of your daily activity, weight, and caloric intake, but also has conversations with you about your fitness plan. These conversations start out with small talk, and evolve into more user-specific tips and ideas that can improve the user’s health and help them meet their goals. The more the robot learns about your activities, the more specific the instructions.
Autom might not replace a personal trainer, but the idea of having a robot with integrated speech recognition in your home is certainly intriguing.
Autom works with third-party tools such as Fitbit activity trackers and Withings scales to keep tabs on your progress and refine your plan as time goes by.
How Do I Get One?
Right now, Autom is in need of a little help to become a reality. The Indiegogo project has a goal of $50,000 to help pay for the first round of fabrication. As a result, backers have the ability to reserve an Autom for themselves at a price of $199. During Cyber Monday, that price has been reduced to $100 to reserve with an additional $99 due at the time of shipment.
Autom looks pretty cool, but the real value of this talking robot might be in the API. This could conceivably expand Autom’s usefulness well beyond health and fitness coaching. Imagine what a clever developer could do if they had a relatively inexpensive robot that could understand human speech and respond accordingly?
Unlike many Kickstarter and Indiegogo technology projects, Autom is ready to hit the assembly line. Development has already happened, and funding is strictly going to be used to help bring the robot to market. In my book, that’s a significantly important detail that many potential supporters should know. I’ve been burned by a few disappointing projects, and just knowing that this one is actually past the conceptual stage makes a big difference on my decision to fund it.