Project EMAR

January 13, 2019

Fall Quarter Design Sprint: Prototyping Movement


Blog post written by Christina Nelson

Our team wrapped up another awesome quarter of research after ideating with teens in local Seattle high schools during the fall.

To finish fall quarter, our full team met in on the Seattle campus to explore how EMAR would move during different stages of its interaction with teens. Each team took hold of materials ranging from feathers to tablets and began envisioning movement within their interaction.

Project EMAR team in Seattle

The Project EMAR fall quarter team meets in Seattle for a design sprint on movement

Greeting/Navigation Team

The Greeting/Navigation team focused on EMAR using dynamic head movement to make eye contact with passing teens. EMAR could form an initial interaction with teens by:

  • Making eye contact: EMAR makes eye contact with students to encourage them to begin interacting with it
  • Yawning: EMAR would make a yawning sound to capture the attention of students nearby
  • Petting EMAR: A teen would approach EMAR and begin petting EMAR’s hair to trigger an initial interaction

Watch how the Greeting and Navigation Team envisioned students’ forming an initial interaction with EMAR through petting and EMAR yawning to get a student’s attention.

Read more about what the Greeting and Navigation Team learned in fall quarter.

Data-In/Data-Out Team

The Data-In/Data-Out Team prototyped EMAR with soft cushioned arms to use dynamic arm movement to form a connection with teens. To represent movement, the Data-In/Data-Out Team used a modified  Wizard-of-Oz method to demonstrate how EMAR would interact with stressed teens. Some team members would control EMAR to approximate the robots movements and reactions, while others interacted with it.

When interacting with teens, EMAR would tilt and move its head to demonstrate active listening when a teen shares their stress levels. EMAR would also display relevant and responsive facial expressions to develop empathy with the teen.

To move around, EMAR would slide across the floor on a set of wheels. EMAR would also feature soft, cushioned arms to hug and wave at the teen who EMAR would be interacting with.

Watch how the Data-In/Data-Out Team envisioned EMAR using dynamic arm movement.

Data-In/Data-Out Team represents empathy

The Data-In/Data-Out Team uses a Wizard-of-Oz method to emulate empathy

Read more about what the Data-In/Data-Out Team learned in fall quarter.  

Digital Giving Team

The Digital Giving Team represented movement through cushioned arms on EMAR that would offer students a hug. When EMAR wants a hug, EMAR would raise its arms or open its arms sideways to invite the teen to hug.

The Digital Giving Team also used an inflatable cushioned head and a soft body to make EMAR huggable.

Watch how the Digital Giving Team envisioned EMAR using arm movement to hug stressed teens.

Read more about what the Digital Giving Team learned in fall quarter.

Ambient Mode Team

The Ambient Mode Team envisioned EMAR’s use of neck and eye movement during a resting state. In ambient mode, EMAR wore a pair of headphones that signified it was not available for interaction. EMAR also moved its head downward to do “its own work” on its belly tablet.

While in ambient mode, EMAR would:

  • Bob its head up and down as though it is listening to music
  • Shut its eyes to represent that it has entered a resting state
  • Display a resting screen to demonstrate EMAR is taking time to do it’s own work

Watch how the Ambient Mode Team envisioned EMAR moving during a resting state.

Ambient Team sketches EMAR

The Ambient Mode Team explores movement through sketching

Read more about what the Ambient Mode Team learned in fall quarter.

Moving Forward

While our team has an understanding of how EMAR might move during each of these phases, we are looking forward to exploring movement with teens. We can’t wait to share our findings with you next quarter!