Visualizing Data about People with Special Needs

As inclusive design and accessibility become more important, disability awareness among the public has been limited, and there isn’t a one-stop information source for them to learn more. My team and I have been working on a scrollytelling visualization to raise awareness and empathy for people with disabilities. The visualization first provides an overview of disability prevalence in the US, classified by state, and then by age and disability type. Then it dives into the different aspects of people’s lives, such as income, education, and employment to find and highlight any trends pertaining to people with and without disabilities. Checkout the visualization here.

Simulating Social Touch for human-machine interactions

Touch can serve to not only facilitate interaction through tactile feedback but also convey emotions and strengthen emotional ties between individuals. How can we convey emotions using touch when using gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, or other tactile interfaces? Imagine feeling your mom’s anger or her caressing pat when you’re talking to her on your phone. I prototyped interconnectable tactile modules to generate human touch patterns like stroke, poke, and hit using thermoelectric modules, vibration motors, and microcontrollers.

Incomplete Machines

Over the course of 3 months, I made interactive products that represent personal data. The goal was to use my past associated with some everyday things to create unexpected and pleasant emotions. I tinkered with objects and materials that I closely associate to in my personal life and integrated into interactive products using (Arduino) sensor kit components. I used inexpensive or day-to-day things (like toothbrush, CD, elastic bands, etc.) which, although are an integral part of our life, are often taken for granted. Because of the personable nature of these objects, the emotions that they trigger can be paired with organic movement to bring out unique interpretations and delightful sentiments.See some prototypes below. Read full report here.


The bristlebot uses my old used toothbrush as its legs. Depending on how one uses their toothbrush, the bristlebot made from their toothbrush will have a unique movement associated.

Rolling CDs

A Compact Disk’s inherent motion is rotation about its center. I used this characteristic to define the motion of my mechanical design. One has to rotate the rod (lever) to twist the elastic that runs through the tube. When the object is on a flat surface, the elastic untangles and causes the CDs to roll. The rolling pair of CDs was found to bring out nostalgia of old days when CDs were extensively used.

Crawling Trolley

Rolling Cup and Straw