Arch Robotics coverMy book. MIT Press, 2016



Required: attendance, timely arrival to class, participation, and the uploading of all documents
to the course Box or Google Drive folder strictly adhering to all formatting requirement and specifications detailed here, on the course webpage, and in the ACM conference website(s). Failure to fulfill these requirements will reduce your grade up to 10% of the total grade at the discretion of the instructors. Attendance at the start of class will be taken for some class sessions without advanced notice. For each absence or late arrival, email the professor and TA with an explanation, attaching supporting documentation (e.g. doctor’s note); these will be considered as a valid excuse (hardship, medical appointment) without penalty, or not. It is your education, so you should take responsibility for yourself in attending all class sessions on time. 

If you need help with advising or mental health, please make use of the resources available on campus, found here: Cornell Mental Health Resources Guide.

Late submissions will NOT be accepted, except with a doctor’s note or other proof of personal crisis or hardship. Failure to submit the printed documents and digital files on-time will reduce your final assignment grade 10 points.

Grading for this course is carefully determined by the professor (and TA, if any) with thoughtful consideration of student grading by your peers. If you believe the grade for any component of this class including the final grade is incorrect, you may submit a written argument along with the component-in-question for reassessment. The written argument must reference a specific issue with the graded component of the course and must be thoroughly substantiated. The professor (and TA, if any) will together consider the request, potentially with the assistance of other faculty with expertise in the area. The reassessment will result in any of the following outcomes: no change of grade, a change of grade for the better, or a change of grade for the worse. You understand that the grade for work submitted for reassessment may result in a grade lower than originally assigned.

To prepare the requirements for this course, enrolled students may conduct peer-to-peer participant studies using their peers as participants. Methods may include interviews, observations, surveys, co-design activity, heuristic evaluations, and think-alouds. As part of this design research activity, students conducting these studies may take written notes, photographs, and/or video as a means of documentation. This documentation may appear in papers, videos, and conferences for academic audiences. Student will not be identified by name, and no aspect of these studies should cause discomfort or risk to participants. Should any student in the class choose not to participate in any aspect of the study, or have questions about her/his participation, please make this known to the instructor. Additionally, for any work of the course submitted for publication, student authors will be identified as first authors of the submission, and the instructor will follow in the list of authors of such work in recognition of their efforts in cultivating this work. If these term are not acceptable to you, please indicate so to the instructor. Non-participation will not impact your grade for this course in any way.

I x D A ,   S I G C H I ,  &   D R N  
The IxDA (Interaction Design Association) lists on its webpages hundreds of internships and jobs related to the skills and knowledge covered in this course. Students are encouraged to join (at no charge) email postings (listservs) for ACM SIGCHI ANNOUNCEMENTS and DESIGN RESEARCH NEWS (both of these for design opportunities) and also ACM SIGCHI JOBS (in design). Students are also encouraged to become a student member of SIGCHI which brings you a 1-year subscription to interactions magazine [print] and discounts on ACM conferences. Directions for joining all these. Finally, is a site that reportedly helps students in design, information science, and engineering find jobs in the tech area.

D E A    S T A T E M E N T
DEA is dedicated to fostering a respectful and accepting learning community in which individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can embrace and respect diversity. Everyone in this community is empowered to participate in meaningful learning and discussion, regardless of an individual’s self-identified gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or political ideology. We encourage students to share their uniqueness; be open to the views of others; honor and learn from their colleagues; communicate in a respectful manner; and create an inclusive environment.

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

interactive journey [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

george [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

hexagonal cube [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

invisible stations [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

infinity wonder box [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
Voyager [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
Seat of Wonder [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
Sit! [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
MS Shadow [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-2 "Stellavista"

Helping Hand
Fay, in the yard [video] [pub]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• robotic furniture for seniors

Haptic Desk Interface for Austism
robotic furnishings
[video] [pub]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• learning tools for children

Haptic Desk Interface for Austism
[video] [pub]

D 2 F S  
This course does not require the use of digital fabrication to produce the prototype. You can manually produce all deliverables for this class.

It's however easy to digitally fabricate components for your prototypes. Our partners for this course are the staff or our very friendly and capable Digital Design Fabrication Studio ("D2FS") on LL2 in HEB adjoining MVR. D2FS staff in the shop in HEB 2L31.

• You can easily draw a 2D file of your component(s) for laser cutting by our D2FS staff. Use Adobe Illustrator (save as ai) or use a CAD program like SketchUp (save as DXF) which is free and very simple to use.

• Preparing files for 3D printing can be more difficult, but if they are simple geometries, you can again use SketchUp. If you need a more complex form, you might begin by seeking the file you need from repositories of 3D printing files like this one and this one.

If you need to create a form anew or modify an existing file, the standard application to do so in industrial design/architecture is Rhino, and in Engineering, Solidworks (both are available on the computer in the rear of the "Assembly Room,' HEB 2L32). Typically, files are saved as stl for 3D printing. Work with the D2FS staff on your 3D printing projects.

• Once you have saved your file for laser cutting (ai or DXF file) or 3D printing (stl file), "Request an Appointment" to submit your file and specifications for digital fabrication, and the staff will do the work for you, presenting to you ASAP the fabricated pieces you requested. Make sure to complete the online appointment form carefully with precise specifications. If laser-cutting sheet materials are not provided by the class (e.g. for assignment 2), you will need to provide the staff with these sheet materials to laser cut ahead of your request. 3D printing materials are supplied free of charge.

• Work with the D2FS staff ( - they are here to help you!



Architectural Robotics  
Keith Evan Green, Ph.D.
Mon and Wed, 8:40 - 9:55am in HEB 2L32

C O U R S E   D E S C R I P T I O N   |   D E A   6 2 1 0
Embedding robotics into the fabric of architecture fosters a more interactive and potentially more intimate relationship between the built environment and us, and represents a new frontier for design, computing, and psychology. Part-seminar, part-lab, this course considers the design, technical, social, ecological, and ethical challenges and opportunities of architectural robotics.

P R E R E Q U I S I T E S   |   E N R O L L M E N T   |   Cap of 12 students
All students require professor's permission.
Preference is given to student-majors in HCD, MAE, and IS (my affiliations) and students enrolled in the Robotics Minor; otherwise, as space permits.
• Enrollment is limited to twelve students to make full use of the D2FS, the digital and manual fabrication shop and staff located across the corridor from our teaching space.

• This course is for 3 credits, for letter grade only. There is no final exam.

S Y L L A B U S    |    S E E   A L S O   M Y   D E A  5 2 1 0    &   D E A   2 7 3 0

L E A R N I N G    O U T C O M E S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Architectural Robotics" aims to cultivate new vocabularies of design and new understanding of ourselves and our relationship with each other and our surroundings, across scales and systems. Four learning outcomes are expected of this course:

Outcome 1: To understand the design, technical, social, ecological, and ethical challenges and opportunities of architectural robotics, and demonstrate this understanding in written report, in-class presentations, and a video.

Outcome 2: To conceptualize and evaluate design alternatives responsive to the challenges and opportunities of an ecosystem that is biological, artificial, and digital, using a variety of design and evaluation strategies.

Outcome 3: To demonstrate an ability to iterate, in working prototypes, architectural robotic artifacts at a scale of interactive devices, furniture, the room, the building, and/or the metropolis.

Outcome 4: To demonstrate the ability to communicate the motivations for, iterative development of, and expected use of the Architectural Robotic artifact that was prototyped, as well as assessing its shortcomings .

H I S T O R Y   O F   T H I S   C O U R S E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This course is the “next chapter” of a course that I've taught for many years, initially at Clemson University with Professor Ian Walker, under the same title, cross-listed in Architecture and Electrical & Computer Engineering. The course pedagogy has been the subject of a paper presented at ICRA (the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation) and a paper published in RAM (IEEE Robotics and Automation, Rethinking the Machines in Which We Live.) I also co-authored, with Mark Gross, an overview of Architectural Robotics for ACM interactions. Required reading for this course, my book, Architectural Robotics: Ecosystems of Bits, Bytes, and Biology (MIT Press), established this subfield at the intersection of robotics, (environmental) design, and psychology.

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Unlike a conventional building that has a limited range of designed responses to dynamic, changing conditions, architectural robotic environments are intimately bound together with their users and local conditions in a designed performance.

More practically, architectural robotics is defined by the movement of physical mass and by its interactivity with and adaptivity to things outside it (e.g. people, other living things, objects, information).

The prospect of this kind of environment was anticipated some forty years ago by MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte in his vision of “a man-made environment that responds to and is ‘meaningful’ for him or her” [5]. Wired editor Kevin Kelly later imagined a “world of mutating buildings” and “rooms stuffed with co-evolutionary furniture” [3]. And while Bill Gates envisions “a robot in every home” [2], William Mitchell, the late Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning and director of its Media Lab, envisioned homes “as robots for living in” [4].

Architectural Robotics meanwhile raises such critical questions as:

  • How will we program the built environment, from furniture to cities?

  • How will architectural robotics recognize activities taking place inside and surrounding them?

  • How will designers design built environment configurations responsive to particular human and ecological conditions?

  • How to design cross-operability and collective interactivity/intelligence of multiple architectural robotic artifacts (furnishings, furniture, rooms, buildings, cities) operating together as cyber-physical “ecosystems”?

  • What are the safety, security and privacy issues related to architectural robotics, and how do designers design architectural robotics to protect property and living things from hackers, operating failures, and other harmful impacts?

Architectural Robotics must go beyond simplistic formal achievements; it must strive to improve life, enhance existing places, and support human interaction. This is no Utopian dream in which technology or design transforms completely our everyday reality. Instead, design and technology as a cyber-physical system supports human activity, responds naturally, and performs according to our needs and wants. Architectural Robotic habitats must complement and redefine living habits. Answers to life problems and opportunities will come not from computational or design solutions alone, but through the way computation, embedded in the physical, built environment, helps support and enhance the interactions across people and their surroundings to create places of social and psychological significance.

For philosopher Andrew Feenberg, “technology is not simply a means but has become an environment, a way of life” [1]. Architectural Robotics is more than an aesthetic search, a stylistic possibility, or a technological quest; it is, instead, a way to develop new spatial patterns in support of human activities.

[1] Feenberg, A. Transforming Technology, (Oxford University Press, 2002), 8.
[2] Gates, B. “A Robot in Every Home,” Scientific American, December 16, 2006.
[3] Kelly, K. Out of Control. (Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 1994), 472.
[4] Mitchell, W. J. e-topia ( Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 59.
[5] Negroponte, N. Soft Architecture Machine (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1975).

M A T E R I A L S   N E E D E D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You will be provided the following in class (as part of the course fee of $60):

- 1 Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino ($23.88 from Mouser).
- 1 Grove Servo ($6.90 from Mouser).
- 1 Grove Ultrasonic Sensor ($4.30 from Mouser).
- 1 Grove Gesture Sensor ($10.99 from Mouser).
- 1 Grove RGB LED Stick (15-WS2813 Mini; $5.40 from Mouser).
- 1 Grove Switch ($3.20 from Mouser).
- Panels (pre-cut) to make an enclosure for your assignment-1. If you need a different size enclosure, you can work with D2FS on laser-cutting panels to-size from digital files you generate using CaseMaker.

Optional: Additional Grove components are available from Mouser electronics with competitive pricing and quick shipping. Grove components are also available from Amazon (often at a higher price), from DigiKey, from other vendors listed on this page, below, and from its manufacturer, Seeed Studio, which ships from its US warehouse.

You will also need:

  • 1 sketchbook like this one or a comparable one found in our bookstore.

  • Aluminum foil - 1 roll, any brand, as used in your kitchen (example).

  • Lithium battery pack (this inexpensive one works and will charge your phone!).

  • Your laptop. You need your laptop in class, every class session. If your laptop is not equipped with a port to plug in a USB-A cable (that comes with the Grove Kit), then you need a USB-C hub (here's one) that plugs into your laptop's port and provides a USB-A port. Newer Mac laptops need this USB-C hub, as Macs no longer have USB-A ports on them.

  • Maybe:

    Coroplast corrugated plastic: easy to work with and low-cost. I like the colorless, translucent finish available in small sheet on eBay via Duco Plastics.

    • Craft materials from Cornell Bookstore, Michael's at Ithaca Mall, Utrecht, Blick.

    • Acrylic sheets and other plastics available online from TAP Plastics (cut to your size with reasonable precision) and from ePlastics (cut to size and less expensive than TAP, but with less control over dimensions of multiple cuts).

    Cut2Size Metals will do what they promise in their name.

    Honeycomb cardboard is inexpensive and rigid enough to build furniture from it.

    Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) as in the red entry of HEB as well as my LIT ROOM project; available locally (in Syracuse) from Polymershapes, contact Kevin Passerell.

R E Q U I R E D    R E A D I N G S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Readings for each class meeting are listed in the CLASS SCHEDULE (below). Please read the readings ahead of their assigned class session.

  • Architectural Robotics: Ecosystems of Bits, Bytes, and Biology (MIT Press), widely available in hardcover or eBook and from the Cornell bookstore.

  • Downloadable pdfs from this page.

  • Optional:

    The Delft Design Guide Wiki is a terrific resource on design methods useful to this class. This Wiki is part of a larger TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering Wiki on design methods, design tutorials (e.g. for Rhino), design conferences and journals, design definitions, design components, ....

    The Pocket Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems,... Available from the Cornell Bookstore and from Amazon, this inexpensive book may be useful to those who are new to human-centered design: Do not purchase the similarly titled, The Pocket Universal Principles of Design: 150 Essential.....

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1. I will present the case study of the day.

2. We will consider an assigned reading.

Every student will read the reading listed for each class ahead of that class meeting.

Every student, beginning Week 02, will upload to our shared Box folder, ahead of that class meeting, a one-page Word document that includes the following for each assigned reading:

[a] Three bullet points that you draw from the reading that capture the content and significance of that reading for architectural robotics.

[b] Two questions related to the reading that you would like us to consider in class.

One student will be assigned one reading for a given class meeting and will present this reading in class. Here is a good example of slides prepared tor a presentation for this course. This presentation should conclude with the presenter sharing with us the most compelling questions submitted by student peers in their reviews found in the shared folder.

3. Students (for assignment 1) and student teams (for assignment 2) will present status reports and demos on their design activities, as per the weekly schedule (below) under the heading, "In class." Your status report can be a physical model, a powerpoint slide, a digital image (e.g., a 3D model), a Word document, or any other document that communicates the status of design development. For demos, you simply share your current physical prototype; or, you can take a smartphone video of your working prototype, upload the video (or a URL to it) to our shared folder, and share the video with us. (Sharing the video is a good approach, as robotics demos often fail!) Reports are uploaded to the shared class folder ahead of class presentations.

Students will also...

  • Benefit from informal exchanges with peers.
  • Deliver formal presentations at designated milestones throughout the semester.
  • Work with shop staff in the D2FS on fabricating your project.

S C H E D U L E   B Y   W E E K - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTE: During a class session in the first two weeks, we will also do D2FS shop training to learn how to use the basic power tools safely. Come to the training session with close-toe shoes (no sandals!).

Week 01 | 08.21 ELASTIC SPACE
Case Study:
Gianni Colombo: Spazio Elastico: L'ultimo ambiente; Rietveld Schröderhuis [@1:31].
W Gruppo T: Gli ambienti...interattiva; Stanford U's isoperimetric soft robot.
Readings (for Week 01 only, just read this webpage & these readings; no reporting!)
M Gianni Colombo

W Gruppo T
In class:
M Review syllabus with focus on assignment-1.
Rapid prototyping: create 5 prototypes with DALL-E 2 (how to use) followed by 3 physical prototypes with foil, paper, cardboard, ... in the provided box enclosure.
Purchase: Aluminum foil, the book, and the battery back as per "Materials"

P A R T - 1   |   C O N C E P T S   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Week 02 | 08.28 TYPES
Case Study:
M Ori Living
The Shed
Readings (hereon presented by assigned student, one student per session)
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 1 (link to this if you can't get the book in time).

W Negroponte, N. “Intelligent Environments” in Soft Architecture Machines, MIT, 1975.
In class

M Student progress reports and design development.
W D2FS shop training, date to be confirmed.

In class:
W Paper•Mech & Mechanisms; Student progress reports on design development.
W Green, K. E. 2022. Robots in the Room, Robots are the Room. In Ecological Design Thinking. Rutledge.

Week 04 | 09.11 PATTERNS
Case Study:
Hyperbody/TU Delft. Pop-Up Apartment
eva/TODO/Blackboard, Kinetic Wall; Reconfigurable facades
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 2.

W Alexander, C., et al. A Pattern Language,"Using this Book" to the end of p. xliv and patterns 45, 69, 124 on PDF pages 93, 115, 178.); Wang, Y. and Green, K. E. 2019. A Pattern-Based, Design Framework for Designing Collaborative Environments,TEI 2019.
In class:
M Student progress reports and design development; write a scenario for assign.1.

W Physical computing; WOz (e.g. Nest); Marvel app; Student progress reports.

Week 05 | 09.18 INTERACTIONS
Case Study:
W. Ju. Mechanical Ottoman; Aarhus Univ., coMotion
W M. Goulthorpe/dECOi/MIT, HypoSurface
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 3.
W Pask, G. 1969. The Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics. Architectural Design.
In class:
M Student progress reports and design development.
A walk through Parc Güell; Student progress reports and design development;.

Week 06 | 09.25 (ASSIGNMENT-1 DEMOS | Nothing graded until next week!)
In class:
M Demo Day: Present your paragraph inserted into the story + demo your prototype.
W Demo Day: Present a draft video; Intro to Assignment 2; GIF and ex.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Week 07 | 10.02 BODY BUILDING (M: Assignment 1 deliverables due.)
• Case Study:
N55 Walking House
W Holger Schnädelbach. ExoBuilding
M Architectural Robotics: ch.s 5, 8, 11.
W McHale, J. 1969. Man Plus;
In class, view together 2001 and The Weather Project.
In class:
M Screen final videos and do final demos, Assigment 1.
W Present your GIFs; form teams based on GIFs; for next class: 1 new GIF from team.

P A R T - 2   |   S C A L E S   &   I M P A C T S  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Week 08 | 10.9 HABIT-ATIONS > NO CLASS MONDAY | Fall Break
Case Study:
ARL's Space-Making Robot Surface
W Dourish, P. 2001. Embodied Interaction. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (paper).
In class:
W Review GIFs from each team.

Week 09 | 10.16 WORKSTATIONS
Case Study:
AWE in AR; AWE in ACM interactions C. Ratti's Digital Water Pavillion
TU Delft's InteractiveWall; ARUP's Smart Desks/Workplaces; Roomware
• Readings:
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 4.
Houayek, H, Green, K. E., et al. 2014. AWE. Jrnl. of Personal and Ubiquitous Comp.
In class:
M Write a scenario as if part of the short story, more scenarios; scenario-based design.
W GUEST: Henriette Bier; review scenarios; revised GIF from each team for next class.

Case Study:
ARL's ART and its pneumatic surface
Aarhus University's, Kirigami Table; Bill Gaver's Drift Table: pdf and video
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 6.
W Architectural Robotics: ch. 7.
In class:
M Intro to morphological charts; ex.s 1, 2, and one from class; review revised GIFs.
W Progress reports on design development.

Week 11 | 10.30 LIVING ROOMS
Case Study:
bumblebee spaces; more, homepage; Futuristic Kitchen (1970)
Architectural Robotics: ch. 9; Schafer. G, Green, K., et al. 2018. LIT ROOM. DIS '18.
W Architectural Robotics: ch. 10;
In class:
M Making videos [my guide]; ex.s: CHI17, CHI18, GrowBot; progress reports.
W Progress reports on design development.

Week 12 | 11.06 CITIES
Case Study:
M Futuristic City of Tomorrow (1960s); Intel smart city
The Experimental City. Google's Quayside, its termination, and lessons learned
M [no reading to make time for Role Play].
W McCullough, M. 2004. Digital Ground (excerpts). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
In class:
M Intro to Role Play; progress reports on design development.
W Progress reports on design development.

Case Study:
ARL's pheB, a soft robotic wall for wellbeing in tight confines
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 12 to top of p.193.
Architectural Robotics: ch. 12 top of p.193 to end.
In class:
M Progress reports on design development.
W Progress reports on design development; Steve Jobs on presenting.

P A R T - 3   |   M O V I N G   &   T H I N K I N G - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In class:
M Advance prototypes and video; prepare a draft video to present next class.

Week 15 | 11.27 INTELLIGENT?
M Riding in a Self-Driving Tesla; AI Scorecard.
W John Searle's Chinese Room; Google's RT-2 on Google's DeepMind.
M From The Singularity: Special Report, IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 45:
     • Zorpette, G. "The Rapture of the Geeks",” pp. 34-35.
     • Nordmann, A. “Singular Simplicity,” pp. 60-63.
     • Brooks, R. “I, Rodney Brooks, Am a Robot,” pp. 71-75.
> Debate: How intelligent, architectural robotics?
W Hayles, N. K. 1999. How We Became Posthuman (excerpt). U. Chicago.
> Debate: Architectural robotics: When? Where? For whom? Why?
In class:
M Present draft videos; advance final prototypes and supporting documents.
W Present draft videos; advance final prototypes and supporting documents.

M Demo day: demo you prototypes, screen your videos. After this final class, you still have time to improve anything of assignment 2 until the date/time listed below.

12.XX | DEADLINE: POSTER and VIDEO, uploaded for final grading:
By date/time announced in October by Cornell U. registrar here

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There are two assignments for this course.
For the first assignment, your challenge is to make people see and interact with each other and the world differently through an interactive artifact at 1:1 scale. For the second assignment, your team's challenge is to design a room, to-scale, that has the potential to improve the state of affairs encountered in dystopian fiction and, in turn, the world we inhabit.

The first assignment, undertaken by each student, is intended to be a fast-paced engagement. The second assignment is undertaken by teams of 2-4 students and provides a longer, deeper development of the design following a trajectory like this:

  • Conceptualization
  • Prototyping / Rapid, low-fidelity
  • Concept Generation: GIF, Scenario, Morphological Chart, Storyboard
  • Prototyping / Hardware/Software
  • User Testing / Role Playing experiments
  • Video making and Reporting
  • Documentation

Team composition for the second assignment will be formed by the instructor(s) based partly on proposals pitched in class by class members.

Your development of both prototypes may beneft, intellectually, from:

Keep in mind: this course asks you to develop architectural robotic artifacts that have at least one input and one output which moves physcial mass.

Assignment 1 | Conversational agent in a box (45% of your grade; individual effort)

Read J G Ballard's short story, "The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista" (1962).

Then, using the Grove Arduino kit (or a standard Arduino and breadboard, if you wish), create a box of moving parts and (as you wish) lights and/or sounds intended to help repair the raport between Fay and Howard Talbot, the couple-in-distress in Ballard's story. Your device should aim to enhance positive human-human interactions between this couple when quality, face-to-face interactions are in decline, in large part due to the very technologies we will use in this course. Write a paragraph that you insert, early-on, in Ballard's story that dscribes this device and how it fosters a better future for Fay and Howard, a couple in distress.

Practically, your box enclosure must be constructed from the panels provided in class. If you need a different size enclosure, you can work with D2FS on laser-cutting panels to-size from digital files you generate using CaseMaker.

Intellectually, your "small" assignment may take inspiration from the boxes of artist Joseph Cornell (one such box is in Cornell's Johnson Museum of Art), the words of Brian Eno (producer of, e.g., Coldplay's "Viva La Vida", ambient music pioneer, and member or the band Roxy Music), and three perspectives on affective computing / designing for emotion:

The kind of artifact we are striving for is small in scale, whimsical/poetic, beautifully crafted, interactive in simple ways, and meaningful/purposeful.

Requirements for assignments 1 and 2 are mostly the same, as detailed below.

NOTE: If you are new to electronics, my DEA 5210 webpage has lots of resources that make electronic prototyping easy! The use of digital fabrication is not required to produce the prototype. It's however easy to digitally fabricate components for your prototypes! Our partners for this course are the very friendly and capable D2FS staff in the shop in HEB 2L31. See below, under the heading DIGITAL FABRICATION, for instructions on preparing files and requesting an appointment for laser cutting and 3D printing them. If you would like to create an app that intereacts wtih or controls your physical object, you can develop the app rather easily using MIT App inventor.

Assignment 2 | "Repairing 'Stellavista' (45% of your grade; team effort)

Inspired again by Ballard's short story, design an architectural robotic module for a hotel room [this one from Marriott] that repairs something you discovered in Ballard's fictionalized suburban, architectural-robotic dystopia. Your user/clients are once again Fay and Howard Talbot, the couple in the story that purchases and moves into a home in Stellavista.

Imagine your hotel room as Fay and Howard's place-of-stay while they shop for their new home. Write a paragraph that you insert, early-on, in Ballard's story that dscribes this hotel room and how it fosters a better future for Fay and Howard, a couple in distress, amplified by living in their new home.

The dimensions of this architectural robotic module should be 5 to 10-feet deep and the full (short) width and full-height of the hotel room. Each student team will, however, develop a physical, working prototype of the module at the scale of 1 ft. = 2 inches to match the 12-inch wooden human figures you can purchase, for instance, here ($6.99) that you might use in your videos and documents. You can alternatively print images of people found in Google images and adhere these printed figures to cardboard backing.

The prototype should be made interactive by way of sensors and actuators that move physical mass, You are encouraged to add lighting and/or sound. You may also integrate any manner of input device, actuator, hacked device (e.g. a toy, a camera), machine learning, computer vision, augmented reality,.... If you would like to create an app that intereacts wtih or controls your physical object, you can develop the app rather easily using MIT App inventor.

G R A D I N G   /   G R A D I N G   R U B R I C - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Throughout this course—an intimate and intensive “conversation” across students and the professor— students will have ample opportunity to receive feedback on their work. Grading is based on a 100-point scale.

Review carefully the grading rubric for the course deliverables.

  • (10 points) attendance, participation, and your assigned reading reviews / uploaded before each class. An attendance sheet must be signed by you in the first ten minutes of class for you to be counted as present. If you expect to be later than 10 minutes on a given day, or if you are absent, email both the professor and the TA (if any) with the cause for your late arrival or absence; these will be considered as a valid excuse or not. To assess participation during class, names may be pulled "from a hat" to identify student critics who will then peer-review the developing work accomplished by other students; the quality of the student critique will form part of the 10 point assessment.
  • (45 points) for each assignment; the deliverables are the same for both:
  • DOCUMENTATION (slightly different for each assignment, as noted below)

Upload your video, documentation, and Arduino .ino file to our shared folder by no later than the deadlines identified in the SCHEDULE.

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  • THE VIDEO [my guide] communicates the full, cohesive story of the designed artifact your team produced, answering why, for whom, and how it was developed, including an overview of the methods used to design and evaluate it. The video will adhere to the requirements for the Video Showcase submission to the benchmark HCI conference, CHI (Human Factors in Computing Systems). Here are videos from previous CHI Video Showcases: 2018. For the video, include in your documentation a URL link to your video in Vimeo or YouTube; and upload to our shared folder an MP4 file reduced to < 30MB using, e.g., Handbrake (see my video guide). The video will otherwise adhere to the requirements for the Video Showcase submission to the ACM conference CHI (a benchmark for design research), where you will also find example videos.

    Tip-1: If you do not have access to video editing software (e.g., iMovie), try Open Shop – a free video editing app for windows

    Tip-2: For your demo video, you may want to add a remote environment (e.g., a dorm lobby, the Cornell campus, a Parisian café, an assistive living unit, a museum lobby) as a preferred physical context for your design; however, such an environment is not always readily accessible to you. An easy strategy for adding this physical context is as follows: video record your working prototype (with “actors” or scale figures of people if your prototype is to-scale) on a white background (e.g. in front of a white wall); then, add your background context photo (e.g. a photo of the café) as a virtual background in Zoom and record your screen.

  • DOCUMENTATION in the form of a written report (pdf) that includes...

  • For assignment 1: (a) a unique name for your prototype, (b) a jpg, 300dpi, of your "money shot" (i.e., a. best photo of your project), (c) a scenario that describes how people interact with your design; (d) a link to your video uploaded to Vimeo; (e) a brief description of how your prototype operates in technical terms; and (f) your code, cut-and-pasted into the report doc along with notes on which hardware components you used, to which pins they were connected to on your Arduino board, and reference to any Arduino libraries needed to run your code and hardware.

  • For assignment 2: all of the above for assignment 1 and also: (g) your paragraph that is inserted into Ballard's short story; (h) a photo of your hardware system with its components labeled; (i) a brief walk-through your design process (e.g., your GIF, Morphological Chart, Storyboard) including outcomes from your Role Playing experiment and how these outcomes informed your design iterations; (j) a discussion of what worked and didn't work for you in developing this project; and (k) a brief proposal of future work-- what you would do if you had more time (and money).

    Upload your documentation to our shared drive as a print quality pdf document. This example from a previous class provides an older model for this documentation, but it does not contain precisely every requirement listed above.

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G E T T I N G   S T A R T E D
Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino Wiki.
• Follow the Wiki to install Arduino IDE and the CP2102 USB Driver for your OS.
• Two videos (1 and 2) introduce the Grove Kit: how you work with it and code it
An article, a video, and my guide on how to use ChatGPT to code Arduino for you!
My useful notes on how to correct for common code Errors and what the code means.

A R D U I N O   C O D E  Y O U   C A N   C O P Y   &   P A S T E  
Paste these codes in Arduino! Change values in the code! Modify with ChatGPT!
• A Sound Sensor controls a single LED [code].           
• A Button controls a single LED and a Buzzer [code].
• A Potentiometer (i.e., Rotary Angle Sensor) controls a Servo Motor [code].
• An Ultrasonic Sensor controls a Servo Motor and an RGB LED Stick [code].
• A Gesture Sensor controls a Servo Motor and a single LED [code].
• A Light Sensor controls a Servo Motor and an RGB LED Stick; a Switch turns the whole system on/off [code].

F I N D I N G   A R D U I N O   C O D E   F O R   G R O V E
• You can find lots of code already built into the Arduino software (IDE): Open up Arduino, select File > Examples, select an example and it will open in an Arduino window, ready to upload to your Arduino board!
• All of the built-in examples are thoroughly described here. Follow their logic to
construct the code for your project.
• An Arduino Library LIst for Grove components. Find code for lots of modules here!

M O R E   A R D U I N O   P R O J E C T S   W I T H   C O D E
Project Examples from Grove
Project examples from "Instructables" with code and documentation.
Project examples from Arduino Project Hub
Grove tutorial that has 9 simple codes you can copy-and-paste.
Numerous Grove Tutorials.
Many more Grove components are available than found in the kit.

A   D E E P E R   D I V E   I N T O   G R O V E   &   A R D U I N O   GITHUB
• Seeed Studio's open source community (here and here) and Help Forum.
GitHub is the open-source repository of code, including code for Grove Arduino.
15-Video Tutorial for Arduino (free) from Jeremy Blum, Cornell alumn! - great!

A B O U T   H A R D W A R E  
• How to work with wire: stripping, soldering, crimping, braiding it.
• How to extend (chain together) Grove kit wires.
• How to use an LED strip: solder it to a Grove connector and code it.
• How to convert your servo for continuous rotation (how to guide).
• How to breadboard prototype; about basic electronics.
• How to make two Arduinos communicate wirelessly using Blynk or NRF.
• About mechanical movements - 507 mechanisms to inspire you.
• About Interactive Paper Craft.
• About LiDAR sensors - measure distance and generate/identify objects and gestures.
• About using relays - "electronic switches."
• About making Arduino robots.