Elin Björling

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

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.



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