We sometimes feel the coldness, stillness, hardness of devices we use in daily life. Like the smartphone, computer, wearable smart watch, headsets, etc. Even though they are providing full of interesting information to us such as music, videos, photos, it still comes to us as not more than a solid 'computer device.' One of my research interests lies in extending the devices' interaction space into 3D space and animate, make them alive as a real creature so that users can actually feel the sensation of touch, temperature. Regarding the feelings from contact with devices, it lacks soft texture and warmth as like human, animal has. So, I am interested in developing a device that has a soft texture and how those animated object, the device would affect user's behavior, emotions. I believe the animated device, object like a friendly pet would give another new experience to users by encouraging the involvement of more than visual and auditory perceptions, which sometimes soothe their loneliness, depression and sometimes increase the enjoyment of the moment.
volume up the video sound
The soft lamp is responsive to music it plays. It shows different motions based on the beat of the sounds.
It is also responsive to the text message you get/send. It reacts to emojis you get/send through your smartphone. When is detects happy-related emojis, 😁 😄 😊it shows fast, happy motion,
and when the emojis are related with sadness, 😰😔 😥 it moves very slow like depressed.
2016 Image of Research, Finalist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Link]
I have been playing with varying the geometry of the soft structure and its material to develop different motions using same actuator.
And the figure in the above shows one of the examples I have made that has like rabbit ears.
Fun experiment to measure how much force it can exert.