Bio

I am a PhD student and CDAC Fellow at the University of Chicago studying Computer Science. I work with Prof. Pedro Lopes in the Human Computer Integration Lab and am broadly interested in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), with focus on creating novel interaction through haptics for new user experiences. I like to operate at the intersection of HCI and materials science to unlock new interaction possibilities. Check out my recent work on smart fluids that transition between liquid and solid behavior for providing haptic feedback!

Previously, I worked with Prof. Jeong-Hoi Koo at Miami University, where I was a Research Fellow for NASA and the Ohio Space Grant Consortium. Additionally, I have worked as a visiting student researcher at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in the Smart Systems and Structures Lab.

Tangential to my core research, I am interested in learning more about soft robotics, dynamical systems and artificial life. Outside of lab, I enjoy staying active through calisthenics and hiking.

Interests

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Haptics
  • Wearables
  • Smart Materials

Education

  • PhD in Computer Science, (in progress)

    University of Chicago

  • MS in Mechanical Engineering, 2019

    Miami University

  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, 2018

    Miami University

News

(03.2020)  In light of COVID-19, I’m doing research and taking classes from home this quarter. Stay well, everyone!

(02.2020) I’m honored to have been named a CDAC Doctoral Fellow. Check out the project I am working on with Pedro Lopes and Sihong Wang: Health Monitoring Based on Wearable Sweat Sensors

(01.2020) My second journal paper is now published in Smart Materials and Structures: A compact and compliant electrorheological actuator for generating a wide range of haptic sensations

(11.2019) I kicked off the HCIntegration Lab’s skillshare series by leading a discussion on mechanics of materials:

(10.2019)  I’m an SV at UIST! Let’s talk new interfaces!

(10.2019) My advisor Jeong-Hoi Koo presented our work at ICAST 2019 in Montreal! Read our extended abstract here.

(09.2019) I gave a brief talk on “Creating new interactive devices with smart materials” at our joint lab meeting with Sihong Wang’s group.

(09.2019)  I’ve begun my PhD at UChicago! And migrated to a new website design.

(07.2019) I attended Mirela Alistar’s Biochip Summer Workshop at CU Boulder.

(05.2019) I defended my MS thesis at Miami University and graduated!

(03.2019)  Talk presented at the OSGC Student Research Symposium.

(03.2019) My first journal paper on our ER fluid-based haptic actuator is now live!

Recent Publications

A compact and compliant electrorheological actuator for generating a wide range of haptic sensations

Robust haptic devices that can convey the entire spectrum of human touch perception are necessary to afford realistic haptic experiences. For vivid and immersive interaction, a combination of both tactile and kinesthetic information must be presented to users. While vibrotactile feedback has become ubiquitous in today’s handheld devices, traditional kinesthetic actuators present significant challenges to miniaturization. Moreover, only limited success has been achieved in developing haptic actuators capable of conveying both tactile and kinesthetic sensations for small consumer electronics. Therefore, this study presents a compact actuator based on electrorheological (ER) fluid for generating a wide range of concurrent kinesthetic and tactile feedback. The design focus for the proposed actuator is to activate multiple operating modes of ER fluid to maximize the force generated by the actuator within a given small size constraint. To this end, the design incorporated two ground electrodes (a stationary ring electrode and a movable electrode attached to a spring element) for tuning the fluid’s yield stress in both flow and squeeze modes. After fabricating a prototype actuator, testing was performed with a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) and an accelerometer to evaluate its ability to produce a wide range of kinesthetic feedback, as well as distinct vibrotactile feedback up to the limit of human perception. The results of kinesthetic testing indicate that the actuator can generate large forces (6.2 N maximum at 4 kV) at rates greater than the just-noticeable difference, indicating that the actuator can convey a wide range of kinesthetic sensations. Tactile evaluation using DMA and the processed acceleration response demonstrated that the actuator can generate both low and high frequency (up to 300 Hz) vibrotactile sensations at perceivably high intensity.

Incorporating Sensing Capability in an Electrorheological Haptic Module

We present embedding a sensing capability to a slim haptic actuator based on electrorheological (ER) fluids, designed for conveying vivid kinesthetic and tactile sensations at small scale. Haptic feedback is produced through electrorheological fluid’s controllable resistive force and varies with the actuator’s deformation. To demonstrate the proposed actuator’s feedback in realistic applications, a method for measuring the actuator’s deformation must be implemented for feedback control. To this end, in this study, we incorporate a sensor design based on stress-sensitive resistive film in bending to the ER haptic actuator. The combined actuator and sensor module was tested for its ability to simultaneously actuate and sense the actuator’s state under indentation. The results show that the deflection sensor can accurately track the actuator’s displacement over its small stroke range. Thus, the proposed sensor may enable control of the output resistive force according to displacement.

Application of Electrorheological Fluid for Conveying Realistic Haptic Feedback in Touch Interfaces

Realistic haptic feedback is necessary to provide meaningful touch information to users of numerous technologies, such as virtual reality, mobile devices and robotics. For a device to convey realistic haptic feedback, two touch sensations must be present: tactile feedback and kinesthetic feedback. Tactile feedback is felt at the surface of one’s skin and displays textures and vibrations, whereas kinesthetic feedback is felt in one’s joints and muscles and transmits position and movement information. While many devices today display tactile feedback through vibrations, most neglect to incorporate kinesthetic feedback due to size constraints. To provide comprehensive feedback, this study investigates a new haptic device based on an unconventional actuation method: electrorheological (ER) fluid, a smart fluid with tunable yield stress under the application of electric field. The device’s control electronics and structural components are integrated into a compact printed circuit board, resulting in a slim device suitable for mobile applications. By controlling the ER fluid flow via applied electric fields, the device can generate a wide and distinct range of both tactile and kinesthetic sensations. These sensations were derived analytically from ER fluid’s governing equations as well as experimentally. The device may be used as a haptic interface between a user and virtual environment.

Design, modeling, and evaluation of a slim haptic actuator based on electrorheological fluid

Realistic haptic feedback is needed to provide information to users of numerous technologies, such as virtual reality, mobile devices, and robotics. For a device to convey realistic haptic feedback, two touch sensations must be present: tactile feedback and kinesthetic feedback. Although many devices today convey tactile feedback through vibrations, most neglect to incorporate kinesthetic feedback. To address this issue, this study investigates a haptic device with the aim of conveying both kinesthetic and vibrotactile information to users. A prototype based on electrorheological fluids was designed and fabricated. By controlling the electrorheological fluid flow via applied electric fields, the device can generate a range of haptic sensations. The design centered on an elastic membrane that acts as the actuator’s contact surface. Moreover, the control electronics and structural components were integrated into a compact printed circuit board, resulting in a slim device suitable for mobile applications. The device was tested using a dynamic mechanical analyzer to evaluate its performance. The device design was supported with mathematical modeling and was in agreement with experimental results. According to the just-noticeable difference analysis, this range is sufficient to transmit distinct kinesthetic and vibrotactile sensations to users, indicating that the electrorheological fluid–based actuator is capable of conveying haptic feedback.

Contact