Research

Elin Björling

Spring 2020

Project EMAR: Hack-a-Bot for Evil

Facilitators

Our Focus

Project EMAR has designed a social robot specifically to help teens with managing and measuring stress. We plan to implement our robot in a local area high school in the Fall of 2020. However, it is imperative that we explore the ways in which our social robot may be abused or misused in the wild in order to design for unintended consequences. For this reason, we are conducting a public half-day hackathon at the end of Spring quarter. The hackathon will include teams of UW students collaborating with high school students to design a dangerous or unethical hack of our social robot.

Participation

We are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic UW students at all levels (Bachelors to Doctoral) to help with this project. As a team we will conduct background research, design and organize the hackathon’s event, recruit participants, mentor teams during the hackathon event, and even analyze hackathon data. Experience working with youth, outreach, design sprints, or hackathons is ideal. 

For more information about Project EMAR, see our blog at blogs.uw.edu/EMAR. Interested students can contact Simran Bhatia (simran18@uw.edu) with a letter of interest and resume to apply. 


Spring 2020

Project RESeT: Relaxation Environment for Stress in Teens

Facilitators

Background

Today’s teens are suffering from increased stress and depression, impacting their mental and physical health. A great deal of stress stems from school and academics, thus we are working to design a self-administered VR station aimed to reduce student stress.

Our Focus

In order to provide an intervention tool that is successful in reducing stress in teens, we first must engage teens in the design of such a tool.  Therefore, we use a participatory approach to human-centered design, specifically co-design, working with teens and using evidenced-based data at each state of the design process. We are currently in year two of the project and have a workflow involving rapid cycles of research, design and development, testing, and implementation.

How you can participate

We are looking for those interested in VR/XR technical development - particularly with an interest or experience in the Unreal Engine gaming platform. Please contact Elin with a CV and email describing why you are interested in the project, at bjorling@uw.edu.


Winter 2020

Project EMAR

Note: this DRG is at enrollment capacity for Winter 2020.

Adolescents are subject to high levels of stress in their lives, resulting from school, relationships, and family life. Not surprisingly, school stress is most commonly reported as the biggest source of stress for teens. Therefore, accurately measuring and intervening to reduce teen stress is imperative to support this vulnerable population.

Social robots are being used to help other populations, such as the elderly and young children. However, there is very little research on either the experience of stress in teens, or the interactions between teens and robots. This presents a unique research opportunity in the field of human-robot interaction (HRI).

Our interdisciplinary team is working on three projects for Fall quarter: (1) design and development of robotic movement and haptics interfaces, (2) implementation and testing of intuitive social robot programming tools, and (3) building out and launching a website for data collection from teens and visualization of collected data. 

For more information, see our blog at blogs.uw.edu/EMAR.

The team is led by Elin Björling (Human-Centered Design and Engineering) and Maya Cakmak, (Computer Science and Engineering).


Winter 2020

Project RESeT: Relaxation Environment for Stress in Teens

Note: this DRG is at enrollment capacity for Winter 2020.

Facilitators

Background

Today’s teens are suffering from increased stress and depression, impacting their mental and physical health. A great deal of stress stems from school and academics, thus we are working to design a self-administered VR station aimed to reduce student stress.

Our Focus

In order to provide an intervention tool that is successful in reducing stress in teens, we first must engage teens in the design of such a tool.  Therefore, we use a participatory approach to human-centered design, specifically co-design, working with teens and using evidenced-based data at each state of the design process. We are currently in year two of the project and have a workflow involving rapid cycles of research, design and development, testing, and implementation.


Dr. Björling's Research Group archive