Conference Paper

Flow of electrons: An augmented workspace for learning physical computing experientially

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Physical computing empowers people to design and customize electronic hardware tailored to their individual needs. This often involves "tinkering" with components connections, but due to the intangible nature of electricity, this can be difficult, especially for novices. We use a multistage design process to design, build and evaluate a physical prototyping workspace for novices to learn about real physical computing hardware. The workspace consists of a horizontal surface that tracks physical components like sensors, actuators, and microcontroller boards and augments them with additional digital information in situ. By digitally exploring various means of connecting components, users can experientially learn how to build a functioning circuit and then transition directly to building it physically. In a user study, we found that this system motivates learners by encouraging them and building a sense of competence, while also providing a stimulating experience.

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... In order to gain insight into the capabilities of maker-based storytelling for high school students, we conducted six three-hour workshops with several groups of students at the University (N=19; ages [14][15][16][17][18]. This study aimed to answer the following research questions: ...
... Our results show that students across our target range (ages [14][15][16][17][18] were able to successfully design, build, and program their own custom-made devices given a relatively short period of time, creating unique storytelling experiences. What is more, our findings prove that maker-based storytelling can enable users to utilize AR to its full potential. ...
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Thesis
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Recently, organic interactive devices, inspired by shapes and movements of nature and living things, have been attracting attention. In order to implement such behavior, programming skills and mathematical knowledge are essential. Due to this, for the potential users of the devices, such as product designers, it is too hard to apply the attractive interfaces to their works. We propose Intuino, an authoring tool that can prototype behavior through time-line operations, spline drawing, or other visual PC operations. The system enables the designers to concentrate on their essential works of interaction design, i.e., selection of the sensor and actuator, and tuning of their operations. Through various practical examples and discussion about them, we will show that our tool can make the prototyping process stronger and can also be used as the tool for facilitation, debugging or creativity support.
Conference Paper
This paper examines the distribution, adoption, and evolution of an open-source toolkit we developed called the LilyPad Arduino. We track the two-year history of the kit and its user community from the time the kit was commercially introduced, in October of 2007, to November of 2009. Using sales data, publicly available project documentation and surveys, we explore the relationship between the LilyPad and its adopters. We investigate the community of developers who has adopted the kit---paying special attention to gender---explore what people are building with it, describe how user feedback impacted the development of the kit and examine how and why people are contributing their own LilyPad-inspired tools back to the community. What emerges is a portrait of a new technology and a new engineering/design community in co-evolution.
Conference Paper
This paper presents an overview of visual programming environment named Splish which enables an icon-based visual programming to develop a program which runs on a microcontroller board family called Arduino which is a popular platform for physical computing. A user program can be developed visually on a PC side, and the compiled code will be transferred to the microcontroller board so that runtime environment of Splish can execute the complied code by interpreting the machine instructions of a simple virtual stack machine. This functional distribution allows the interactive debugging when the microcontroller board is connected to a PC. Because physical computing attracts wide variety of people including non-specialists and students, the visual programming and the interactive debugging capabilities of Splish will accelerate their physical computing experiences. Splish is developed with JavaFX to achieve platform independence.
Conference Paper
Programming microcontrollers for tangible interfaces can be easier and more accessible than it is now, empowering a broader audience to participate. The first part of this studio will introduce participants to Scratch for Arduino, a graphical programming language for controlling the Arduino hardware platform. The participants will form small groups to create projects using the Arduino in combination with a kit of input and output devices, and program their creations' behavior using Scratch for Arduino. In the second part of the studio, participants will have a chance to get under the hood of the Scratch for Arduino language and its underlying blocks engine, modifying it or extending it to work with other tangible kits. We will close with a discussion about participants' experiences using and modifying Scratch for Arduino and the blocks engine, comparing them to other environments and considering possibilities for future work and collaborations.
Conference Paper
We propose a system for both the customisation and the physical representation of instant messaging contacts as hanging tangible avatars which have been outfitted with a personalized skin and set of interactions. Hangsters create an ambient display of a user's online contacts which is simultaneously peripheral and interactive. The user creates a representation of herself in an online avatar creator. The personalised skin is packaged around a standard modular electronic kit and mailed to the recipient. The Hangster then embodies the interactions that would otherwise take place onscreen: on/offline presence and accepting/initializing conversations. The system allows for a more ambient display of a user's contacts while introducing customisable modular electronic toolkits for the tangible avatars.
Conference Paper
This paper presents a large-scale study of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) communities, cultures and projects. We focus on the adoption and appropriation of human-computer interaction and collaboration technologies and their role in motivating and sustaining communities of builders, crafters and makers. Our survey of over 2600 individuals across a range of DIY communities (Instructables, Dorkbot, Craftster, Ravelry, Etsy, and Adafruit) reveals a unique set of values, emphasizing open sharing, learning, and creativity over profit and social capital. We derive design implications to embed these values into other everyday practices, and hope that our work serves to engage CHI practitioners with DIY expert amateurs.
Conference Paper
Visible Breadboard is the Breadboard like interface which shows voltages of each and every hole by full color LED and enable us to make wiring by tracing with finger tips. Users could insert electrical material into the holes and make a circuit on this device. Users could understand what is happening in the circuit and correct the connections with finger tracing.
Article
this article is divided into four parts: a brief description of the system, some example applications, some technical issues, and finally some concluding observations. Published in Communications of the ACM, July 1993 EuroPARC tech report EPC-93-195 Page 3 / 17
Article
Physical widgets or phidgets are to physical user interfaces what widgets are to graphical user interfaces. Similar to widgets, phidgets abstract and package input and output devices: they hide implementation and construction details, they expose functionality through a well-defined API, and they have an (optional) on-screen interactive interface for displaying and controlling device state. Unlike witgets, phidgets also require: a connection manager to track how devices appear on-line; a way to link a software phidget with its physical counterpart; and a simulation mode to allow the programmer to develop, debug and test a physical interface even when no physical device is present. Our evaluation shows that everyday programmers using phidgets can rapidly develop physical interfaces.