Thesis Archive

Master’s thesis defense was held in the Digital Bauhaus Lab on 13. June. 2022
Master’s thesis defense was held in hybrid mode
Teachers and audiences tried to experience the hugs created by Hugging Suit
Air Actuator Matrix controlled by self-designed PCB and air valves
Pressure Sensor Matrix to detect the hugs and touches with E-textiles
Installing Air Actuator Matrix on the jacket
Hugging Suit includes a jacket (output) and a t-shirt (input)
Iterations of Air Actuators
User hugged herself with Hugging Suit
Hugging Suit helps couples to hug each other without spatial limitations
Erstellt: 29. September 2022

Hugging Suit _ Pneumatically-Actuated System Design for Haptic Experiences

COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed our usual ways of human interaction and highlights the demand for remote haptic communication since most restrictions relate to avoiding physical contact. Especially for international students and staff, having a physical hug from family and friends became an extravagant wish, because of the high travel costs and time-consuming. This research aims at realizing remote and real-time haptic communication with Hugging Suit, a novel Air Actuators Matrix and Pressure Sensor Matrix that produce in the McKibben muscle structure, two-point discrimination values, and E-textile and provide pixelated and programable haptic force to the upper body.

Master-Thesis SoSe 2022

Ruo-Xuan Wu

1st examiner: Professur Human-Computer Interaction

Prof. Dr. Eva Hornecker

2nd examiner: Professur Darstellungsmethodik

Dr. Sabine Zierold

3rd examiner: 

Dr. Luke Espanhol, Director, Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts, University of Sydney

In contrast to present pneumatically-actuated wearable systems, Hugging Suit 2.0 adopts a high-pressure air tank to reduce the weight of the device and the distraction of air compressors to give the full portability for the user experience. Following the frame of Research through Design (RtD), the thesis iterated the design, production, and evaluation of the Hugging Suit, and present the evolutions of the pneumatic hardware and force control algorithms from first to second prototypes, coupled with two user studies involved 71 participants and addressed portability, wearability, and the fidelity of the hugging simulation. Further, the investigation found that low-lit, comfortable, private, and being able to see the hug giver are the preferred environments so that the future related user scenarios of the Hugging Suit and design can be identified accordingly. Finally, the potential applications of the Hugging Suit, such as massage, “Hmoji,” “Hugging Passwords,” and memorizing the deceased loved people were found in the user study feedback.