MOTI, a Robot That Promises to Help You Develop Better Habits

MOTI: Your smart habit companion, YouTube
MOTI: Your smart habit companion, YouTube / MOTI: Your smart habit companion, YouTube

If you’re struggling to stick to your exercise routine, meet your work deadlines, or just remember to floss, a tiny robot named MOTI wants to help you out. Created by Kayla Matheus and Laura Day, the friendly little device is designed to help you stick to positive habits by doling out reminders and positive reinforcement, Mashable reports.

The robot—currently available to preorder on Kickstarter—was created to feel more like a coach or a friend than a reminder device. Unlike smartphone reminder apps, MOTI is a physical presence in your life that responds to your actions: Fail to meet a goal, and MOTI will emote displeasure when you walk into the room. Stick to your good habits and MOTI will “reward” you with flashing lights and happy sounds. The robot even learns and evolves, developing motivation techniques specific to your habits.

According to Matheus and Day, the device is the outcome of significant research in both social robotics and behavioral science. MOTI’s motivational strategies are based on habit loop theory, which hypothesizes that our brains create habits using a trigger, routine, and reward. MOTI functions as both trigger and reward, serving as an environmental cue to remind you of your task, and a reward system that provides immediate gratification when you complete a task successfully.

“There are plenty of apps and wearables for habit formation, but we know that humanity isn't just about knowledge and data—it's about emotion,” Matheus and Day explain on Kickstarter. “Based on the latest insights from behavioral science and social robotics, MOTI works by being more than just a device: he's a friend who sets up the right types of reminders, celebrations, and accountability seamlessly into your life.”

[h/t Mashable]

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