Sophie Hoare

Diploma in placement studies from a 12 month industrial placement at Vax as a Student Product Design Engineer.

Final Project


An educational toy which uses fun and interactive play to support children with picky eating and help them learn about nutrition.

RockEat is used before mealtimes to take the pressure away from what can be a stressful time for families. The target audience for the product is children aged 4-7. RockEAT gives children the ability to be independent in making their own food choices, and contribute to meal preparation. This increases their exposure to different foods and means they are less overwhelmed at mealtimes.

Branding Specialism

I chose branding as the specialism for the project, and this packaging was one of the final outcomes. The packaging is fun and interactive, with a try me button for users to explore RockEAT’s different lights and sounds. It also includes a graphic showing RockEAT powered by ‘carrot fuel’ on its way to explore ‘food planets’. emphasizing the products fun nature and overarching goal of helping children explore and try new foods.

Exploded View

RockEAT is designed to be injection moulded form ABS plastic, a tough and durable material well suited for use by children. The main components are: a servo motor to open the reward lid, a speaker to make the interactive noises, two barcode scanners to read the cards, an LED ring and 3 AA batteries which can be changed by the user.

Journey to the Show

Throughout the project I engaged with a range of users, medical professionals and design experts. All of which were invaluable to the development of RockEAT.

Interviewing dietitians and occupational therapists allowed me to delve deeper into picky eating and its causes, which created a strong basis for the rest of the project. I then proceeded to speak to picky eating and toy experts at Loughborough university, as well as gaining useful design insight from designers at VAX. To gain feedback from my target market I carried out feedback sessions with parents and children, I was able to give them prototypes to interact with, and received a really positive reaction to RockEAT overall.

I created a diverse range of prototypes along my final year journey, which ranged from proof of concept electronic models, to 3D printed interactive prototypes, to a final appearance model.

Work Experience

2021- 2022

12 Month Placement at Vax as a Student Product Design Engineer.

Visionary Thinkers

Visionary Creators

Visionary Makers