Tech

A YouTuber made 'Mario Kart' into a heart-racing home workout

Imagine being able to burn calories while playing Mario Kart.

It's hard to say for sure, but more often than not, it feels like playing Mario Kart has a tendency to take time off of your lifespan, as opposed to adding it. If extended periods of sitting down doesn't get you, the stress of getting bombed with a blue shell will.

Luckily, for anyone prone to long periods of sitting and playing video games a unique new setup built by YouTuber Mike Choi who goes by Mechachoi, shows sedentary gameplay doesn't always have to be the case.

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The Labo Fit Adventure Kart as Choi calls it melds together several pieces of hardware, including a Ring Fit Adventure Ring-Con, Joy-Con, and a fitness bike.

mechachoi on YouTube

The setup is meant to provide a full body work out and functions pretty much how you might think, albeit with a slight twist or two. Pedaling on the fitness bike increases acceleration while turning is done by tilting the Ring-Con.

Using items, however, throws in an added dimension of strength training, by making players squeeze the Ring-Con to launch shells or activate mushrooms.

Orchestrating Choi's creation is a robot he created called TAPBO that actually physically engages with the hardware in the Ring-Con depending on player inputs.

For instance, motion-sensors hooked up to the exercise bike read the player's acceleration and signal TAPBO to physically press the Joy-Con's "A" button once a speed threshold is crossed.

Choi also deployed TAPBO to one of Nintendo's flagship games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but the results were, well, it's best to just watch watch for yourself...

Choi tells IGN that he decided to go with an analog approach as opposed to anything software-based for a couple reasons, including the fact that Nintendo has been fairly prickly toward anyone tinkering with its products.

Additionally TAPBO is also an homage to R.O.B., Nintendo's robot toy accessory from 1985 that could sub in for a second player.

The Labo Fit Adventure Kart is obviously not for sale, seeing as it's pretty much a hacked together personal project from Choi, but he tells IGN that TAPBO could be used for other purposes in the future like squeezing a Nintendo Switch to turn it off and on.

For now, if you want to mix exercise and entertainment you'll have to resort to other ways of gamifying fitness.

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