If you're growing a gut, but can't afford a personal trainer, there's a robot than might be able to help you with that. The Autom social bot tracks weight loss and is designed to interact with dieters on a daily basis, offering personalised incentives and encouragement. Its makers claim that “by developing an emotional bond with the robot, users are more likely to stick with healthy eating plans”. But can you stomach the idea of being told what to eat by a robot that's not once tasted ice-cream?
The bots will start shipping in early 2013 at a price of $199, and a monthly subscription fee of $19.99. Though conversation will be limited, the Autom can calorie count like nobody's business - having nearly 75,000 meals on record.
Perhaps you'd prefer a robot friend to play you the violin?