Most of us can relate to the experience of gaining unwanted weight. The $60 billion a year that Americans alone spend on trying to lose weight is proof enough of that. Unfortunately, study after study has shown that almost nobody is able to lose a significant amount of weight and actually keep it off. Biological factors aside, that’s because most of us don’t have the willpower to consistently do exercise we don’t want to do and eat unsatisfying meals that we hate. William Osman decided that the solution is moderation, and built this robot to make sure he doesn’t overeat.
As Osman explains at the beginning of his video, he is currently the heaviest he has ever been. Nobody should be body-shamed, but he decided that he personally wanted to drop some pounds. Following a tried and true recipe that we have certainly seen before, he figured that the best way to achieve that was by introducing shock punishments into his dining routine. The robot he built keeps track of how much he eats during a meal. The more he eats, the greater the strength of the electrical shock that he receives. If he really wants to eat every last bite of dessert, he’ll have to endure some legitimate pain.
Keeping track of how many calories have been consumed throughout a meal is nearly impossible, so this robot just estimates those calories based weight. It tracks that linearly, so when the meal weighs half the original weight, it assumes half of the calories have been consumed. Weight is monitored by a load cell connected to a microcontroller. The shocks come from a questionable “muscle therapy” device purchased in Mexico. A motor and 3D-printed mechanism are used to turn that device’s adjustment knob and increase the shock strength as the weight of the meal decreases. The experience looks absolutely awful, but that’s kind of the point. Only time will tell if Osman sees any real results. If he does, this may just become the next weight loss fad.