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Are jogging robots and diet goggles the future of weight loss?

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 A Tokyo University students tests a virtual tasting device called 'MetaCookie+' (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images) Losing weight in a healthy way can be challenging, even for the most disciplined of dieters. To shed pounds, a person needs will power, drive, an open mind and, sometimes, a little bit of help.

Or, for some people, a lot of help - in the form of high-tech gadgets.

Scientists at the University of Tokyo have created a pair of "diet goggles" that magnify the snack in a user's hand.

The camera-enabled, computer-enhanced glasses are designed to help people feel satisfied with eating fewer calories.

 Tokyo University professor Michitaka Hirose and his team developed camera-equipped goggles, which make food portions look larger. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

In one experiment, cookies were magnified to appear 50 per cent larger. Participants wearing goggles ate nearly 10 per cent less cookie, according to Agence France-Presse.

Researchers also developed something called a "meta cookie," which makes use of scent bottles attached to the glasses.

Users can set the device to pump out either chocolate or strawberry scents while eating a low-calorie plain biscuit. According to University of Tokyo Professor Michitaka Hirose, 80 per cent of subjects tested so far have been tricked into thinking they were consuming something more decadent than they actually were.

"How to fool various senses or how to build on them using computers is very important in the study of virtual reality," he told AFP. "Reality is in your mind."

Two Australian scientists are using gadgets to aid fitness levels in a different way.

Floyd Mueller and Eberhard Gräther, of the Exertion Games Lab at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, have invented a flying robotic fitness companion they call "Joggobot."

 Joggobot is a project from the Exertion Games Lab in Australia. Reasearchers are using it to explore the idea of using flying robots as companions in order to make exercise more engaging. (Flloyd Mueller / YouTube)

Their drone acts as a coach of sorts, flying in a few metres in front of the jogger at a set pace to motivate and engage them.

A built-in camera attached to the Joggobot is programmed to respond to markers on the jogger's T-shirt, allowing the device to track the jogger and move accordingly.

"With this research, we tried to investigate the bigger picture of how people exercise in the future, and what role robots will play in it," said Gräther in a video for the project.

The device is many years away from mass production, reports Australian newspaper The Age, but people have been buzzing about the idea nonetheless.


What role do gadgets and technology play in your own personal fitness or diet regime? Have you lost weight successfully in the past, or are you trying to now? Give us your tips below!

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