© 2017 HCII Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

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Bio-hybrid Wearables

W. Wang, L. Yao, C.Y. Cheng, T. Zhang, H. Atsumi, G. Wang, L. Wang, O. Anilionyte, K. Zhou, C. Wawrousek, K. Petrecca, R. Karnik, D.I.C. Wang, X. Zhao, H. Ishii. 2017. Harnessing the Hygroscopic and Biofluorescent Behaviors of Genetically-Tractable Microbial Cells to Design Bio-hybrid Wearables. To appear in Science Advances.

We demonstrate that the hygroscopic and biofluorescent behaviors of living cells can be engineered to design bio-hybrid wearables, which give multifunctional responsiveness to the sweat of a human body.
Paper | Details of Technology

Transformative Appetite

Wen Wang, Lining Yao, Teng Zhang, Chin-Yi Cheng, Daniel Levine and Hiroshi Ishii. 2017.Transformative Appetite: Shape Changing Food Transforms from 2D to 3D by Water Interaction through Cooking. To appear in Proceedings of the 35rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA.

We developed a concept of transformative appetite, where edible 2D films made of common food materials (protein, cellulose or starch) can transform into 3D food during cooking. This transformation process is triggered by water adsorption, and it is strongly compatible with the ‘flat packaging’ concept for substantially reducing shipping costs and storage space.
Paper | Video | Details of Technology | Applications 1 & 2


Wen Wang, Lining Yao, Chin-Yi Cheng, Teng Zhang, Hiroshi Ishii. CHI 2016 Submission. and Hiroshi Ishii. 2016. xPrint: A Modularized Liquid Printer for Smart Materials Deposition. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 5743-5752. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858281

To meet the increasing requirements of HCI researchers who are looking into using liquid-based materials (e.g., hydrogels) to create novel interfaces, we present a design strategy for HCI researchers to build and customize a liquid-based smart material printing platform with off-the-shelf or easy-to-machine parts. [...]
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Lining Yao, Jifei Ou, Chin-Yi Cheng, Helene Steiner, Wen Wang, Guanyun Wang, and Hiroshi Ishii. 2015. bioLogic: Natto Cells as Nanoactuators for Shape Changing Interfaces. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702611

Nature has engineered its own actuators, as well as the efficient material composition, geometry and structure to utilize its actuators and achieve functional transformation. Based on the natural phenomenon of cells' hygromorphic transformation, we introduce the living Bacillus Subtilis natto cell as a humidity sensitive nanoactuator. In this paper, we unfold the process of exploring and comparing cell types that are proper for HCI use, the development of the composite biofilm, the development of the responsive structures, the control setup for actuating biofilms, and a simulation and fabrication platform. [...]
Paper | Video 1| Video 2 | Video 3
Details of Technology | Applications 1 & 2 & 3& 4
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Fast Co.Design 2016 Innovation By Design Award | 2016 Platinum A’ Design Award for Textile, Fabric, Textures, Patterns and Cloth Design Category | 2016 Golden A’ Design Award for Wearable Technologies Design Category | 2016 Silver A’ Design Award for Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design Category


Yao Lining, Ou Jifei, Wang Guanyun, Cheng Chin-Yi, Wang Wen, Steiner Helene, and Ishii Hiroshi. bioPrint: A Liquid Deposition Printing System for Natural Actuators. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. December 2015, 2(4): 168-179. doi:10.1089/3dp.2015.0033.

This article presents a digital fabrication platform for depositing solution-based natural stimuli-responsive material on a thin flat substrate to create hygromorphic biohybrid films. Bacillus subtilis bacterial spores are deposited in the printing process. The hardware system consists of a progressive cavity pump fluidic dispenser, a numerical control gantry, a cooling fan, a heating bed, an agitation module, and a camera module. The software pipeline includes the design of print patterns, simulation of resulting material transformations, and communication with computer hardware. The hardware and software systems are highly modularized and can therefore be easily reconfigured by the user.
Paper | Details


Lining Yao, Ryuma Niiyama, Jifei Ou, Sean Follmer, Clark Della Silva, and Hiroshi Ishii. 2013. PneUI: pneumatically actuated soft composite materials for shape changing interfaces. In Proceedings of the 26th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 13-22. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2501988.2502037

This paper presents PneUI, an enabling technology to build shape-changing interfaces through pneumatically-actuated soft composite materials. The composite materials integrate the capabilities of both input sensing and active shape output. This is enabled by the composites' multi-layer structures with different mechanical or electrical properties. The shape changing states are computationally controllable through pneumatics and pre-defined structure. We explore the design space of PneUI through four applications: height changing tangible phicons, a shape changing mobile, a transformable tablet case and a shape shifting lamp.
Paper | Video 1| Video 2 | Details


Jifei Ou, Lining Yao, Daniel Tauber, Jürgen Steimle, Ryuma Niiyama, and Hiroshi Ishii. 2014. jamSheets: thin interfaces with tunable stiffness enabled by layer jamming. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 65-72. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2540930.2540971

This works introduces layer jamming as an enabling technology for designing deformable, stiffness-tunable, thin sheet interfaces. Interfaces that exhibit tunable stiffness properties can yield dynamic haptic feedback and shape deformation capabilities.
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Core 77 Community Choice Prize | iF Design Award | IxDA Interaction Award finalist