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Tangibot – Augmenting food printing experience of kids using smart blocks

Overview : The Tangibot system facilitates learning for children (aged 7-11 years) from 3D form creation and exploration, while helping them consume nutritional food in an interactive, pleasurable and playful environment. We believe that providing kids with the freedom to build any structure while customizing it with their food choice, not only motivates them towards consuming the printed food, but also will act as a great source of inspiration to try new ideas. This engages multiple senses like touch, sight, taste and smell, thus connecting Food Fabrication to the domain of tangible interfaces. 

Purpose : Submission for Ozchi 2014 24 hours student design challenge 

Honour : First Position,  and the project was presented at the conference in Sydney. First time an Indian team won this competition. (Results

Keywords : Food Printing; Digital Manipulatives; Tangible Interface; Children; Learning; Internet of Things

Publication : (LinkProceedings of the 26th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2014). 

Team Members : Bhawna Agarwal, Richa Tripathi, Poorvi Vijay & Pradeep Pj

Blog :  For Process we followed and  description ( here )

Concept and Reasoning

Manpulative Material - Fun - Learning 
Manipulative materials (such as Cuisenaire Rods and Pattern Blocks) play an important role in children's learning, enabling children to explore mathematical and scientific concepts (such as number and shape) through direct manipulation of physical objects. "Digital manipulatives" are -- computationally-enhanced versions of traditional children's toys. These new manipulatives enable children to explore a new set of concepts (Resnick et al. 1998)

Cultural Significance 
It has been observed that many kids make interesting shapes and forms from dough (a form creating material) which helped us to establish the connection between ‘food’ and the ‘manipulatives’.

Smart Blocks - The Digital Manipulatives

The blocks with the help of connectors could be assembled to form a structure

Make believe prototype

Tangibot connects Food Fabrication with these manipulatives through food printing technology. It also offer a window for pleasant food printing experience for kids while giving them the freedom of choosing the fruits according to their liking. Children connect basic 3D shapes such as spheres, cylinders, cuboids, prisms and cones which are digital manipulatives to builda  physical structures like a bot or a car. The assembled struture gets printed where each shape one fruit flavour.  

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