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MIT student blogger Melis A. '08

Cool UROP position by Melis A. '08

UROP opportunity: helping people fight obesity using robots

Just a reminder…there are a lot of new UROP opportunities for IAP, here’s an example of a cool project:

“Sociable Robot Applications — Hardware

The Robotic Life group in the Media Lab is looking for a UROP to help with a project applying sociable robots to the real-world problem of obesity. This project intends to help people who are trying to lose weight to be more successful for a longer period of time.

Responsibilities of this UROP position include integrating a wireless pedometer into the system and making a bathroom scale talk wirelessly to the system. Interested students should have some experience with both hardware and software of wireless systems, preferably some experience with Bluetooth or other relevant networking protocol. Job is essentially hacking existing hardware to add wireless capabilities and seamlessly integrate them into our system. Interest in robotics and real-world applications of technology is important!

Position will begin in IAP or spring semester and could last for one semester up to one year. After the integration of the system is complete, we will be giving the system to actual users to perform a 6 month or longer study.

Faculty advisor is Dr. Cynthia Breazeal ( and graduate student you’ll be working with is Cory Kidd ( If you’re interested or have questions, please contact Cory at [email protected]

8 responses to “Cool UROP position”

  1. Wow…An Amazing project indeed. I love the way MITlabs always try to apply scientific knowledge to help solve real-world problems. I am an RD applicant and after reading the brief about this project, I am indeed very happy that I have applied to MIT.

    MIT Rocks!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi!!! I just need a help.There was a mistake with my application fee because the fee waiver was selected by mistake,I realized that I was not eligible for fee waiver.I didn

  3. Anonymous says:

    doesn’t matter, since judging from your post you probably won’t get in anyway.

  4. Melis says:

    Hi John! I would love to hear about your MIT vs. Caltech insights. And…I’m not really on the admissions staff at MIT, I have nothing to do with the applications or the decision process. My job is just to help give prospective MIT students a better idea of what MIT is really like and what they can do (in terms of research) once they get here!

  5. John Shen says:


    whoops. I guess I guessed wrong on that one about the admissions staff – but it woulda been cool. At Caltech undergraduates actually get to help with admissions, cool eh?

    Anyways, it’s still sweet that you have an MIT hosted blog. But… you should still post more. Or I could write a post for you, how about that? I’ll write it when I’m not busy with other random things I’m doing.

    I can talk about research opportunities at MIT too, but I’ll talk about Caltech’s as well, to be fair.

    Oh, and I almost met Bill Phillips today, at NIST – that was really exciting. I’ll tell you later.

  6. John Shen says:

    Just visiting your website.

    For the casual reader, UROPs at the Media Lab are super-awesome. I had a friend do a UROP-like project one summer where he basically designed a foosball AI out of Legoland pieces. He loved it. It’s more relaxed than other UROPs I’ve heard of. Also… who doesn’t like hacking existing software? Be honest.

    Also, Melis, I’d be interested in posting in this site, just as a visitor – I have some more than superficial insights on the difference between Caltech and MIT, and other not-so-techy schools – and how students should choose.

    Happy holidays to you all.

    NB: I AM a Caltech student. I just happen to like MIT too. I hope MIT feels the same way. =]

  7. John Shen says:

    oh, one more thing –

    i think it’s really cool that you’re on the admissions staff at MIT. i mean, that’s why your blog is hosted under MIT, right? i’d be an admissions person at caltech if I weren’t so irresponsibly busy. whatever. at least i write in my blog more often *wink*.

  8. Bryan says:

    Cool stuff. I have an awesome book by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal.