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    Emotion is far more "Natural" than Language.

    User-centered Product Development, Research and Design for Socially Interactive Technologies.

  • Thinking Things

    User-centered products, projects and research.

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    Romibo Robot Project

    Concept: A Peer-Agent Teaching Tool to Support Social Learning and Play.

    Design: Romibo is an effective low-cost robot designed for use in education and therapy with special needs populations. Academic and field research with clinicians and caregivers informed the development of Romibo. Interacting with 10,000+ children sine 2011.

    Meet Romibo and friends today through Fine Art Miracles, Inc.

    Role: Concept, Research, Design, Funding, Management, etc.

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    ConceptApplication of Agency to a Home Appliance to Communicate Machine Status.
    Background: Apparent emotion may help ease user frustrations in cases where they cannot see or hear what the problem is, instead affective display will let them know to be patient and understanding. When the button is pushed, the coffee goes into brew mode. The lid closes, the eyes open wide, and the LEDs turn on. Once the coffee is done brewing the LEDs turn off and the eyes are wide open.  As the coffee cools the eyes lower. Wide-open eyes indicate fresh coffee; closed eyes indicate old cold coffee.
    Role: Concept, Design, Fabrication, Programming.
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    Tactile-audio wearable computer designed to allow hearing-impaired users to experience rich sound. 32 individually addressed motors translate sound to body regions allowing users to differentiate between songs.

    Role: Concept, Design, Fabrication, Funding.


    Fully functional devices persist in London, Toronto & San Francisco.


    - SIGGRAPH CyberFashion, 2004

    - International CES, Las Vegas, 2011

    - Human+ Traveling Exhibit

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    Public Display of Personal Information 
    Real-world user study of participants wearing a pedometer-like device reflecting the environmental impact of their physical activities.
    Role: Research, Design, Fabrication, Field Test Coordinator.
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    First Person Vision

    pinpoint point of view capturing of video feed corresponded to pupil movements. FPV captures a person's full field of vision and specific gaze-based intent to provide the user with intelligent cues and guidance, personal assistance, training, information or entertainment.


    Challenges: 8 weeks of field use, 8-10 hr battery life, senior citizen users, weight distribution, ergonomics, technical maintenance, hygiene/washing, heat constraints, body weight configurations, public settings, privacy, small-scale production.
    Role: Design and small production.
    Photo of Stephen Oney by Brian Lim

    Firefly Wearable Display

    Where to Locate Wearable Displays? For a location to be truly useful, it needs to not only be accessible for interaction, socially acceptable, comfortable and sufficiently stable for electronics, but also effective at conveying information.This research evaluates reaction time performance to visual stimuli at seven different body locations. Results indicate numerous and statistically significant differences in the reaction time and performance characteristics, applicable to the design and placement of future wearable computing applications and systems. 

    Role: Research Coordinator.


    Publication: Where to Locate Wearable Displays? Reaction Time Performance of Visual Alerts from Tip to Toe. In Proceedings of CHI 2009. 

  • Where is Romibo now?

    The Romibo Robot Project continues under Origami Robotics, Inc. and as the ElderBot research project at the Quality of Life Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Take another point of view

    See what's being said and done in other places.

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  • User-centered Design Research Approach

    Thinking and doing meaningful things.

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    Curiosity, experience and imagination inspire the right questions. The things we have never seen can be more important than the ones we have.

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    We are not the user. Observe and capture the current state of the unknown world. Edge cases often reveal more than the target market. Why would they never use it? Capture that too.

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    Imagine a preferred state, and many alternatives.
    Probable and impossible options have equal value before synthesis.
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    Make it physically work. Use it. break it.

    Build many more, better, faster, stronger...

    Push the limits... but leave a working demo in the lab for pictures.

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    Do not wait for perfection, put it out in the world and watch how it grows; use, misuse, appropriation, and abandonment. The use you never imagined may be the answer. Bonsai accordingly. 
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    Iteration can be endless, punctuate with intent. 
  • Want to see more?
    Contact for exclusive media and resources

    Would you like to see more videos of robots, wearables and real users in the field? Unlisted exclusive content including photos, videos and testimonials may be available upon request. In special cases, live demos of robots and other devices might be available as well. Just ask for more details in the form below. 
    Can't wait to hear from you!