May 16, 2017 | By Benedict

Rohit Ashok Khot, a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for Game Design Research at RMIT University, Australia, has devised a system that translates self-monitored data from physical activity into small 3D printed chocolate treats.

The EdiPulse 3D printing system gives you four fun kinds of feedback on your exercise

Extremely apathetic exercisers like myself will know that chocolate, that calorie-laden stuff of luxury, is often the go-to substance when you’ve all but given up on the gym. Rarely is it used to actually improve your awareness of physical exercise.

It’s therefore a lovely surprise to hear that an Australia-based research fellow has designed a system that turns data about your physical activity into the most easy-to-digest format of all: chocolate.

“A common perception about exercise and chocolate is that they do not complement one another,” Says Rohit Ashok Khot, Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Game Design Research at RMIT University.

“A healthy body should perform regular exercise and should not indulge in sweet temptations like chocolate. I break this perception by presenting a playful system called EdiPulse.”

According to Rohit, EdiPulse translates self-monitored data from a physical activity into small 3D printed chocolate treats that are small enough to be almost totally guilt-free, and which also offer “playful reflections on one’s active life.”

EdiPulse uses a Choc Edge chocolate 3D printer to create its treats

Using data collected from physical exercise, the EdiPulse system uses a Choc Edge 3D printer to 3D print four different forms of feedback relating to the results: a cheerful message, a graph, a flower, and a smiley. In their chocolatey form, all of these items fall under the category of activity treats.

If the concept doesn’t sound as surprising as perhaps it should, that might be because the EpiPulse chocolate 3D printing system first appeared in embryonic form back in 2015, when Ashok Khot was first planning an experiment relating to the 3D printing system. Now, however, the postdoctoral fellow and four other researchers have written a paper on the success of the project.

After deploying the EdiPulse system across seven households and studying its use with 13 participants for two weeks per household, Rohit and his team found that chocolate 3D printing of physical activity data produced “positive aspects,” as well as some “open challenges.”

The group found that “the use of chocolate, serendipity of representations, and delayed feedback not only challenged individual’s perception of their active life but also made the experience enjoyable.”

Rohit and the other researchers concluded that their study could lead to “exciting opportunities that food printing technology will afford for playful self-monitoring.” Are you listening, BeeHex and Magic Candy Factory?

As an often-lazy, often-hungry person working in the 3D printing industry, I think the EdiPulse system sounds like a fantastic incentive to get up and get fit. Would the general public agree? I’d certainly like to find out.



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



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