Designing for Long-Term Human-Robot Interaction and Application to Weight Loss

Kidd, C. "Designing for Long-Term Human-Robot Interaction and Application to Weight Loss"


Human-robot interaction is now well enough understood to allow us to build useful systems that can function outside of the laboratory. This thesis defines sociable robot system in the context of long-term interaction, proposes guidelines for creating and evaluating such systems, and describes the implementation of a robot that has been designed to help individuals effect behavior change while dieting. The implemented system is a robotic weight loss coach, which is compared to a standalone computer and to a traditional paper log in a controlled study. A current challenge in weight loss is in getting individuals to keep off weight that is lost. The results of our study show that participants track their calorie consumption and exercise for nearly twice as long when using the robot than with the other methods and develop a closer relationship with the robot. Both of these are indicators of longer-term success at weight loss and maintenance.

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