- Current Needs: This is more an idea starter. At this point, I think the resources needed are imagination and varied experiences. Who do you know that has tried everything to change his habits?
If you watch the TED Talk by Cynthia Breazeal here, you’ll see a very cool idea at about the 9:15 mark. It’s a robot that helps coach you to lose weight. View the entire video to see the reasons that a robotic coach might be more effective than just a mobile phone application. Dr. Breazeal and her students at the MIT Media Lab have observed that people actually form emotional bonds with even fairly simple robots.
In their tests, the students found that given identical diet regimes implemented via paper logging, computer and a robot, the test subjects stuck with the robots nearly twice as long. This and other the current projects are described here.
Sure, the software and hardware would be expensive at first, but so is treating diabetes! What might be done to create an affordable coach? Get out your Mindstorms, interface to a cellphone and see what you can create.