3D Printer Gives You Chocolate When You Work Out

If being chased by imaginary zombies doesn’t speed up your run, you may need to take more drastic measures—like rewarding yourself with chocolate. EdiPulse, a project from Rohit Ashok Khot, Ryan Pennings, and Florian "Floyd" Mueller at Exertion Games Lab in Australia, combines the wearables trend with 3D printing in order to gamify exercise and produce visible rewards. 

The EdiPulse uses a Polar heart rate monitor that measures beats per minute, and sends that information through to a mobile app. The data gets saved on the Polar website, and once the workout is complete, the app translates the data for the 3D food printer. The printer then prints either a chocolate message or emoticon. The harder you work, the thicker the chocolate.

In order to determine the number of chocolate layers printed, heart rates are divided into four zones: very light activity, light activity, moderate activity, and hard activity. If your heart rate stays between 50 and 70 BPM— generally considered a normal resting heart rate—you’ll get one layer of chocolate. From 71 to 110 BPM, you get two layers; 111 to 140 BPM results in three layers; and 141 to 180 rewards you with four.

Each activity zone also corresponds with a different emoticon. Maintaining a steady workout in the hard activity zone rewards you with a much-deserved giant smile or a cheerful message. But stay in the very light zone, and you’ll get a frown.

When the 3D printer randomly selects a cheerful message instead of an emoticon, the message’s length varies by your workout time. Workout duration is divided into 5 minute intervals, and each interval equals one printed letter. So if you work out for 30 minutes, you’ll get the first 6 letters of a message like “Well done, Mate!”

The intention behind EdiPulse is to encourage exercisers through a tangible final product. While knowing that you’ll get more toned may enough to push you to actually use that gym membership, others might need an instant visual to keep them going.

And don't worry: The developers kept in mind the calories and sugar content and measured out the chocolate dosage so eating the reward won’t negate the workout.

While the project report [PDF] says that people may end up giving the chocolate away or throwing it out, it seems hard to imagine that anyone who would buy the EdiPulse wouldn’t want to eat their hard-earned candy. 

[h/t PSFK]

The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

The Force Field Cloak
This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark
The Force Field Cloak
The Force Field Cloak

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.

Inventor Terry Sachetti was inspired to create the blanket by his own experiences struggling with scary nighttime thoughts as a kid. "I remember when I was young and afraid of the dark. I would lie in my bed at night, and my imagination would start getting the best of me," he writes on the product's Kickstarter page. "I would start thinking that someone or something was going to grab my foot that was hanging over the side of the bed. When that happened, I would put my foot back under my blanket where I knew I was safe. Nothing could get me under my blanket. No boogiemen, no aliens, no monsters under my bed, nothing. Sound familiar?"

The Force Field Cloak, which has already surpassed its funding goals on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, takes the comfort of a blanket to the next level. The glowing, non-toxic ink decorating the material acts as a gentle night light that kids can wrap around their whole body. The result, the team claims, is a secure feeling that quiets those thoughts about bad guys hiding in the shadows.

To pre-order a Force Field Cloak, you can pledge $36 or more to the product’s Indiegogo campaign. It is expected to start shipping in January 2018.


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