Below is a collection of student work from throughout the semster. Included are images of classroom activities, as well as individual and team assignments.


PROJECT 04 • Robots

PROJ 04: In this design prompt students were used robots as a creative design material. (FULL VIDEO PLAYLIST) Below you will see us working with the robots and then the lineup of the six final projects.




Will Oakley, Soohyun Cho, Annie Zheng, Sierra Chang

RescueBot is a system intended to be the first-first responder to any emergency out in the field. A single RescueBot has the ability to be dispatched quickly to any scene, make an assessment of any emergency situation and relay critical information back to a 911 dispatcher in real time. When working together, a fleet of RescueBots will be able to comprehensively manage the scene logistics so first responders can focus on caring for victims and other people around an accident. We hope that RescueBots will change the way our emergency response system works so that responders can attend to situations more quickly and effectively.


Barrak Darweesh, Kyle Trieu, Pancham Yadav, Yejun Wu

Robots are usually considered inferior to humans in today’s social order, since we see them as machines we build to perform dirty jobs or repetitive and labour-intensive tasks. However, how would this change in the future, especially in a post-apocalyptic scenario? In 2050, when nuclear weapons are likely to destroy most known civilizations, the robots we’ve built, especially with materials and sufficient intelligence to withstand such an apocalypse, will be our hope. In such a world, Alchemists will roll over the seemingly hopeless lands full of radiation, detect clean air and soil and dispense seeds to grow hope for human beings. We want to challenge the notion of how humans will perceive robots as more than just agents of dirty works that go invisible, by making it more valuable and visible than before. Eventually, we are looking to promote the idea of robots and humans coexisting on the planet.


Dylan Arceneaux, Sophia Batchelor, Mu-Ti Huang, Stephanie Daffara

In the world today, over 90 Billion pounds of food ends up wasted, with 31% of food supply ends up in landfill. Currently food sitting in landfills can’t breakdown correctly and instead releasing toxic greenhouse gases. Composting offers an amazing alternative. It’s fantastic for the environment, supercharging plant growth and protecting against soil erosion; but compositing can be difficult to maintain. Introducing BeeBot! The robot built to make composting easy. BeeBot is a robotic composter which arrives at your door to collect compost and protect the environment. BeeBot takes your compost to a secret area where your compost is used to nurture trees and other flowering plants. The secret area is unique to each BeeBot, with each BeeBot having seeds and watering components to tend to its plants. BeeBot can be requested via the app or you can schedule BeeBot on its regular route. BeeBot. The Composting Robot.

An Enquiry Concerning Robot Understanding

Wesley Deng, Robert Hoogsteden, Jessie Lyu, Tina Taleb

Robots are the current climax compounds of burgeoning technology and, without doubt, standing at the center stage of countless industrial errands, scientific research, and artistic design. While continually being anthropomorphized, robotic machines in effect own a distinct physical angle than humans and interpret the world through a unique vision and language processing system. In our design, we encourage people not to take for granted how robots understand the surroundings but engage in an interactive, provocative, and open-ended inquiry concerning the robot’s intelligence. Our robot’s not merely an auxiliary tool, but the dazzling and glittering protagonist. Leveraging on assorted emerging technology, we will guide through our audience a full course of robot’s sensing, interacting, interpreting, and expressing. We wish to propose a thought experiment empowered by concrete installations, through an array of design sophistication, for the audiences and speculators to question, reflect, and contemplate on the contemporary human-robot relationship.

Encountering Humans

Yakira Mirabito, Varda Shrivastava, Katherine Song, Paul Stott

Moving robots are currently equipped with limited responses when encountering humans as obstacles. A robot that encounters a human in its path will simply pause to allow the human to clear the way or, at best, will make an attempt to circumvent the human. While most people we observe on Berkeley's campus move out of the way when encountering a moving robot, in a handful of cases, perhaps out of mere curiosity or perhaps with malicious intent, a human will test the robot by intentionally blocking its path. We envision a future in which robots will recognize such situations and express themselves in a way that encourages humans to move. Here, we implement a simple robot with two modalities of expression and test which is more effective. In the first mode, the robot attempts to evoke sympathy, and in the second, the robot attempts to scare the human into submission.


Ananya Nandy, Douglas Pan, Aaryaman Sen, Lian Song

The HoHoHoBot roams through the basement halls of Etcheverry Hall, across the breezeway to Soda Hall, and crosses the street to main campus, spreading holiday cheer across campus. It aims to bring people together through sharing well wishes and sentiments. By allowing people to record messages and listen to messages from other places, the HoHoHoBot gathers messages from one location and brings them to another in the form of a collaborative tree decorating activity.


CORE 01 • Closure, Enclosue


CORE 02 • Hold Stedy


CORE 03 • Curious, Furious


PROJECT 01 • Perception

PROJ 01: In this project, students designed and prototyped a novel object within the landscape of a "counter". These objects embody elements of perception and interaction. Students were free to choose any counter – your own kitchen counter, a neighborhood cafe counter, a workshop counter, etc. (FULL VIDEO PLAYLIST)


Express Checkout

Barrak Darweesh, Wesley Deng, Mu-Ti Huang, Aaryaman Sen

Currently, grocery shopping consists of two main steps: item picking and checkout. Though deciding what to purchase can be enjoyable, the waiting, scanning, and paying experience in the second half of the shopping process is monotonous and may detriment the entire experience. Therefore, we would like to transform the perception of a mundane errand of a checkout counter into a worthwhile experience. Using Google Cloud Vision for identification, we would like to provide the customers with different sensory generative feedback. For the people waiting in line, they hear a mix of music and sound effect generated by the item combination from the current scanner. Besides the audio feedback, the customers will receive receipts with item-based lyrics at the end, along with a sound-collage souvenir. Through the audio and the literal rewards from each purchase, the checkout experience will be less isolated between the scanners and the people waiting in line.

Free Your Thoughts

Robert Hoogsteden, Varda Shrivastava, Steve Simon, Lian Song

Our project is an attempt to make concrete what so often goes unsaid — to bring to light the secrets, the unspoken, the mundane thoughts that we always mean to share but can never quite express. With this motivation, our team rethought the counter into a site for anonymous, communal commiseration — by centering the intensely physical act of shredding, we wanted to encourage a cathartic, almost destructive sense of letting go. In return for their own input, participants can then tap into communal sentiment surrounding their own thoughts — encouraging a sense of solidarity and creating an expressive ecosystem. Our counter thus creates an opportunity for people to go deeper than surface level in a public space.

Jack Black: A New Player in Blackjack Counter Culture

Katherine Song, Paul Stott, Yejun Wu, Annie Zheng

Jack Black is a blackjack-playing robot that places bets and makes calls, simultaneously maximizing a player’s chance of winning and freeing up the player’s attention so that the player may better enjoy the casino experience. Jack Black is playful in his mannerisms, bringing fun to the blackjack counter, which is conventionally stern. Jack Black may become a platform for his owners to learn blackjack (he can be programmed to narrate the rationale behind moves) or to more strongly critique blackjack culture without the embarrassment of acting inappropriately themselves (Jack Black may be programmed to roll his eyes, slam on the table, etc.). Furthermore, we envision a future in which “casino culture” is inclusive of automata like Jack. In such a future, bots may be pitted against each other as a means to compare players’ blackjack strategies or play alongside humans as characters who bring fun/excitement to the table.

Attis: Your Kitchen Companion

Dylan Arceneaux, Soohyun Cho, Tina Taleb, Pancham Yadav

Attis began with the motivation of wanting to make the kitchen experience delightful again for the increasing number of single- person homes. Attis is a primarily an instant recipe generator that finds recipes based on ingredients that it detects when the user holds them up to the device. It will cook with you by reading out loud and checking off steps of the recipe, as well as setting the timer on the device as the recipe calls for. The to-do-list-like checking off of the recipe and the celebratory message upon completion gives the user a rewarding experience. Users can upload their own recipes to be followed by others, providing a sense of connection and interaction, while supplying a possibly endless, collective database of recipes for Attis to access for the users.


Ananya Nandy, Sophia Batchelor, Will Oakley, Jessie Lyu

Steve is a smart coffee assistant that helps customers make decisions about their drinks. Upon perceiving a customer, Steven will prompt a series of binary choice questions such as flavor, caffeine, or milk choices. Users interact with Steve with hand gestures like pointing left or right. Steve responds by shaking his left or right “arms”, and gives feedback on both the LCD screen and through a speaker. Designed in a shape that resembles a real Starbucks coffee cup, we hope Steve could help users make beverage choices more easily!


Douglas Pan, Kyle Trieu, Sia Chang, Stephanie Daffara, Yakira Mirabito

SafeCup is an interactive lid that keeps your drink safe while out. Spend less time worrying and more time enjoying yourself. The SafeCup experience starts when a bartender ID you, linking the ID to your cup, and then pours you your favorite drink. Cheers! Next lock your cup by the click of a button on the top of the lid. Wander away and upon returning simply show your ID to your cup’s camera and it will unlock. If foul play by an unwarranted stranger occurs, LEDs with light up and flash, alerting those nearby. The idea was generated by a team of design students after observing the counter at the bar on a busy weekend night--folks often have to step away to use the restroom, chat with other friends or dance, leaving their drinks unattended.


PROJECT 02 • Conversation

PROJ 02: In this design prompt students were challenged to embed an element of conversation into an everyday mundane artifact. (FULL VIDEO PLAYLIST)


Med Mate

Barrak Darweesh, Robb Hoogsteden, Doug Pan, Annie Zheng

In almost every household is a person that consumes a type of medication, and is required to follow a daily medication schedule. In many cases, someone is responsible for monitoring this person to ensure they are following their medication schedule according to dosage time and amount. Today’s medicine organization solutions include monthly arranged containers that are difficult to arrange, as well as phone apps which require technical knowledge to use efficiently. Targeting patients with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, elderly patients, and others with poorer working memory, Med Mate is a medicine cabinet that is designed with features that ensures a patient’s health condition and medicine schedule independently, while still being connected to doctors and care takers, which reduces the responsibility placed on family members and caretakers. Installed in the user’s bathroom, Med Mate organizes the user’s health schedule by reminding them to take their medication with dosage information, recording feedback about health condition, and connecting them with doctors whenever needed. Voice and conversation are used in Med Mate as a universal medium of communication. Conversation can be especially powerful in the medical field as each patient requires personalized care. The use of conversation also aids users with limited knowledge in technology through LCD screen, mobile applications, or patients with visual impairment. Furthermore, voice aligns closely the experience that caretakers provide to patients including reminders and crucial time dependent scheduling.

Pillow Talk

Mu-Ti Huang, Lian Song, Pancham Yadav, Will Oakley

Pillow Talk is an interactive pillow that allows the user to communicate with loved ones over long distances in an extremely intimate and personalized way. Our device uses conversation-based interactions to record messages, send messages, and give real time visual and auditory feedback to the user based on their mood and tone. The Pillow Talk device also has the potential to branch into other areas of impact including health, wellness and emotional wellbeing. For example, our device could be easily extended to analyze one’s mental health in combination with factors from other health-related devices or to simply listen and converse with a user about their day.

Saga: The Ultimate Storyteller

Dylan Arceneaux, Stephanie Claudino Daffara, Sophia Batchelor, Varda Shrivastava

Getting your children to bed can be a long process, and sometimes the “just one more story” lasts forever. Introducing Saga the ultimate bedtime storyteller. Bedtime stories are important for both childrens’ literacy and language development, and their moral development; it’s how we’ve passed on knowledge since the beginning of time. Saga is for the “just one more story”, for the nights when you can’t get home from the office. It’s not just another bedtime story, Saga is a world your kids can explore. It gets kids involved in stories and books through its master storyteller’s choose-your-own-adventure stories. Saga doesn’t just read the story to the child, it makes them the storyteller, allowing the child to choose what the character should do next with both small decisions to increase their vocabulary, and large ones that have moral lessons attached to them. Saga. The adventure awaits.

Demi: The Dematerializer

Soohyun Cho, Kyle Trieu, Paul Stott, Aaryaman Sen

Today’s consumer culture makes it easy to buy things but difficult to throw things away. But we see that there is a desire for a simpler, tidier life with less material things. Demi helps you do exactly this by encouraging you to discard an item every time you receive a new package. In the box that your order came in, place Demi inside as well as a few items that you want to discard. This will activate Demi, which in turn will help you decide which of the items you should discard by evaluating your descriptions of them. You have seven days to discard the item -- once the seven days are over, Demi will constantly remind and annoy you to take action. Once you have made up your mind to part with the item, Demi will guide you through the removal process (e.g. suggesting donation or removal centers, emotional reflection of decluttering) so that the item finds the best place to go, you feel good about things away, and feel great about being able to live simpler.

Make Me a Scene - An Experimental Design for Augmented Conversation

Wesley Deng, Jessie Lyu, Yakira Mirabito and Yejun Wu

People are fascinated by movies and dramas because conversations from those artworks seem touching and compelling. People like them not only because of the content of the dialogues but also various effects that go along with them. People are already adding filters and effects to recorded videos on various social media: Instagram, SnapChat, Tik Tok, etc., and the trend is proliferating. We envision a future where the post-effect manufacture happens in real-time, allowing users to have a spontaneous, immersive, and cinematic experience while rendering a conversation. Our device is versatile: sometimes, it positively exaggerates the emotions; sometimes, it whimsically yet impalpably twists the atmosphere. A designated app is created for users to personalize the settings, revisit the scenes, and share the excerpts. Eventually, our project aims to experiment with the state-of-art affective computing power, explore the nuanced intricacy of language-using, and augment those dramatic yet humanistic moments from people’s daily conversation.


Ananya Nandy, Katherine Song, Sia Chang, Tina Taleb

SoulFlower is a potted plant that encourages healthier emotional intra- and inter- personal relationships. First, it helps its owners be more in touch with their emotions, which often go overlooked during a hectic day. Additionally, it encourages friends and roommates who step into the room to better understand the unspoken emotional context, avoiding potentially awkward or unintentionally hostile conversations. One flower of SoulFlower is capable of drooping and dancing, giving its owner instant feedback on the sentiment of sentences that are uttered. A bouquet within SoulFlower keeps track of the accumulated sentiment throughout the day, which is a useful indicator for people entering the room to see and adjust their words and actions accordingly. Our current embodiment of SoulFlower is for a single-person bedroom, but a future iteration may also find it in multi-person households, where its utility in mediating unspoken emotional communication and empathy would become especially prominent.


PROJECT 03 • Extra-Real

PROJ 03: In this design prompt students were challenged to use VR to change perspective. (FULL VIDEO PLAYLIST)

. You are also welcome to download the APK file to your own Oculus Quest and try these out.


An Ocean’s Story

Barrak Darweesh, Yakira Mirabito, Ananya Nandy, Pancham Yadav

An Ocean’s Story is a VR experience that explores the effects of marine debris on marine life. Entering An Ocean’s Story will drop you in present-day Kamilo Point, Hawaii, where you will witness the accumulation of plastic marine debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. You will find that you are no longer a human, but instead, are viewing the beach through the eyes of a much smaller creature - the hermit crab. You then begin your journey through the ocean, trying to avoid trash that may damage your shell. If you suffer significant damage to your shell, you have a few opportunities to find a replacement shell. Your goal is to survive until you reach the trash-free paradise at the end - our vision for the Kamilo Point of the future, if we as humans take responsibility for the problem we have caused.

Try it out yourself – Download this APK onto your Oculus Quest. You, the user, are immersed into our experience from the perspective of a hermit crab. As the experience starts, you’re deployed on a beach. You can walk around, given enough space, or use both the controllers for movement, with the L joystick triggering the direction of movement and the R joystick triggering the change in the visual field. To your top right, you see a health bar which is full at the beginning. As the game starts, enter the water and you’re in a world where there’s a lot of pollution and trash is cascading down from the top of the ocean to the bottom. These trash objects are recognizable - plastic bags, pieces of paper, debris and crushed soda cans. Your objective is to move from the beach you’re deployed on to another beach at the end of the ocean, while avoiding the trash. If you collide with any piece of trash, your shell is damaged, and this is reflected in the health bar. Conversely, if you find a new shell, your health bar is reset to the max. Outside of this basic interaction, listen for ominous music and look out for the details in the terrain - your hands-turned-crab-claws and the decrease in trash as you metaphorically travel through time to the future, when pollution has been curbed due to better societal awareness and policy.

Cube Sort

Annie Zheng, Stephanie Claudino Daffara, Lian Song, Soohyun Cho

Our project explores communication as a method of generating mutual perception -- when presented with a common goal, two individuals are often unable to achieve that goal because they have different perspectives as to how the goal should be achieved. In order to achieve the goal, the individuals must communicate their personal perspectives to align their strategies. We try to simulate this situation in a simple multiplayer cube sorting activity in which two players spawn in the same space, but see different colored cubes. The players must realize that the score will only go up once the cube gets placed into the bin that is the resulting color mixing the two different colors they see.

Try it out yourself – Download this APK onto your Oculus Quest. Welcome to Cube Sort! This is a game designed for two players, to explore how empathy can be generated through collaboration. Let’s get started! Once both players enter the game, you’ll find yourself in a simple, shared room: with just a set of bins and a few cubes. You’ll have access to a few basic controls — each player is able to move around the game room by using the controller joysticks; and each player can pick up the cubes in the room by using the grip buttons. The goal of the game is simple: place the cube in the correctly colored bin in order to earn points — but be careful, the colors might not match up easily as they seem! It is up to the two of you to work with each other, in order to understand how the colors you both see might come together.

A Void: Visualizing and exploring emotion

Sophia Batchelor, Wesley Deng, Paul Stott, Sia Chang

Emotion has always been a significant part of human life. Psychologists and Neuroscientists have been striving for decades to decipher the secrets of emotion and help people to grasp a better understanding of emotion. A Void is an interactive Virtual Reality space built for individual users to explore emotions. There are 4 emotional pillars centered around the emotions of fear, hope, sadness, and happiness. In each zone, users can explore the ways in which those emotions are experienced and expressed by others; before getting to their own "heart" of the emotion and expressing how they are experiencing.

Try it out yourself – Download this APK onto your Oculus Quest. How to Start A Void. You will need a wide space clear of obstacles to freely experience A Void. An 8x8m space is optimum however you will be able to experience the functionality of A Void by resetting the view such that an outer obstacle is placed closer to you. By selecting "DET Perspective" from the "Other Sources" options in the Oculus Library menu, the experience will start. Upon arriving in A Void, you are free to walk around and experience the different zones. There will be orbs around you in the scene, some are grabbable which can be accessed by completing a "grabbing" motion with the Quest controllers, and some orbs that only respond to a collision from a grabbed orb. There are also 4 boxes on 4 pillars in the scene. You are free to move around and pick those up. When venturing to the area that has a yellow colour palette, interacting with the orbs will trigger different audio effects. A Void is built to be an exploration of emotion - explore as long as you'd like.

Survival ADventure

Will Oakley, Varda Shrivastava, Katherine Song, Kyle Trieu

Masked as a VR video game, Survival ADventure is an immersive experience that serves as a critical commentary on the pervasiveness of intrusive, targeted advertising. A user is stranded in a remote environment and is instructed to complete tasks that teach survival skills. Based on the user’s decisions in the game, the VR space becomes increasingly cluttered with seemingly relevant billboard ads that beckon the user to buy goods or services in “real life.” Survival ADventure aims to highlight and immerse us in the unsettling, overwhelming, and distracting nature of the targeted advertisements that we constantly navigate through in our lives. Additionally, as VR is an emerging technology, our project provokes questions of how advertisers might utilize this space to collect data and deliver targeted ads.

Try it out yourself – Download this APK onto your Oculus Quest. Follow the text prompts in the game. The first prompt asks you to “point to” a tool to gather wood. For this, the relevant items are an axe (for chopping down the tree) or a ladder (for climbing the tree to pick smaller branches). You will want to make sure that the item you choose is in the center of your view. The second prompt asks you to identify and pick up a food item. You will use a controller to pick this item up. As you interact with these objects, take a 360-degree look around you and notice the changes in the environment (the billboards). When you complete the second task, another “level” of gaze interaction unlocks, so look again at the billboards around you to see this.


Tina Taleb, Yejun Wu, Aaryaman Sem, Doug Pan

FOCUS is a guided active meditation application that helps users focus better using VR. It helps users practice mindful thought by providing haptic cues for focused breathing while distracting them with a simple task of rolling balls based on color. This combination of is a key element to achieving meditative flow states in practices such as yoga. FOCUS examines the power of VR to look inwards and strip away sensory stimuli. It is designed to be a modern form of meditation suited to the tendencies of people used to being distracted by an overload of information.

Try it out yourself – Download this APK onto your Oculus Quest. Grab the controllers, one in each hand. Open the Focus.apk file. Find yourself a cozy spot and sit down (on the floor ideally). When FOCUS begins, you will hear “Welcome to Focus”, Follow the voice instructions, and breathe according to the haptic cues from the controller. When you open your eyes, inch your body forward or navigate using the thumbsticks. You can sort the balls, or throw the balls Breathe in while picking up a ball, then breathe out and let it go on the ramp. Keep following the haptic breathing cues no matter what you do!


Dylan Arceneaux, Robert Hoogsteden, Mu-Ti Huang, Jessie Lyu

Echo is an interactive virtual reality project that offers the player a sensory journey through a series of echo chambers constructed from a series of tweets. The experience bombards the eyes and ears with a number of increasingly polarized tweets. At the end, the player is presented with a visualization of the player's position on a political spectrum of a given topic.

Try it out yourself – Download this APK onto your Oculus Quest. At the start, you are in a chamber with a statement and multiple opinions. Use your eyes to look around, explore the chamber, and see which opinion you associate the most in relation to the given statement. Based on how much to look at those opinions, you will be sent to another chamber with similar perspectives. Repeat the interaction to proceed to the final chamber. After experiencing the final chamber, you will be presented with a report of your viewpoint as well as how you get there.


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