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Above the Clouds

Interactive and Programmable Metamaterials


Prof. Alexandra Ion,

CMU Human-Computer Interaction Institute Interactive Structures Lab, Pittsburgh



September 2021 - present


Team lead

Plan to submit to UIST'22

Metamaterial devices or machines require none or minimum sensors, actuators, or other electronics. Their functionalities can be triggered by users through structural deformation. Recent studies have also proposed computation-embedded metamaterial devices that elevates the devices' computational capability. We thus propose to leverage metamaterials for tangible and reconfigurable interaction. Specifically, we set out to explore the potential of a metamaterial sensor that upon material deformation would computationally process the input as a signal. This computed signal would then trigger an active metamaterial shape output. By such a proposition, we aim to demonstrate environment responsive, passive, and “smart” metamaterial devices for human interaction.

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A pull-to-recharge signal transmission mechanism (prototype)

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Screen Shot 2021-11-05 at 1.58.50 PM.png
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Screen Shot 2021-11-05 at 1.58.55 PM.png

More updates coming soon!

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