Ten Australian families are to become part of a unique experiment where they are rewarded for exercising by being given 3D printed chocolates.
RMIT researcher Rohit Ashok Khot is installing $6,000 3D food printers in the ten Melbourne homes to test if people will do more exercise when they are rewarded with treats.
Participants will be hooked up to heart monitors to measure physical activity and then transform and deliver the equivalent amount of energy as chocolate from the 3D printer.
“The more they exercise, the better the quality of chocolate will be printed out which they get to enjoy as a reflective reward of their physical activity,” Khot says.
“Participants will be able to see their chocolate printed out after they exercise and we will study if this new edible mode of representation is enough to make exercise more engaging and enjoyable.”
The chocolates will be personalised and be made in the shape of the exerciser’s name, smiley faces, flowers and hearts.
Only antioxidant-rich dark chocolate will be used. And there is a daily restriction of 30mls, or about two small blocks from a 200g block of chocolate.
Khot, from RMIT’s Exertion Games Lab and the Centre for Game Design Research, says his research had generated enormous interest.
“Academics are keen to see what more can be done to get people to exercise and to support the experience,” he says.