These are some of the current topics for final theses projects in our group. Not all ideas for projects are listed here, so please get in contact if you like the general flavour of topics or if you have project ideas that fit within our area of work, and we can discuss!
Most topics can be done in German or English - please contact us for further information!
Designing a soft music interface (B.Sc. / M.Sc. with more advanced development and user evaluation)
You are interested in designing novel types of music interfaces? For this thesis topic, we suggest that your novel music device should exist out of so-called soft materials - as e.g. textile-based or pneumatic interfaces. Input modalities for activating or playing sounds can work through touch mechanisms or buttons. Your application can be inspired by existing instruments of interfaces but novelty interaction is in the focus. Skills in music making might be helpful but are not necessary. Your thesis work needs some development of hardware and software components and will surely be challenging in terms of crafting and implementing soft materials for hiding technology.
Exploring Tangible Non-Screen Games with Physical Interface Props Inspired by Soft Robotics (B.Sc./M.Sc.)
Develop and implement a multiplayer interactive game that uses physical, dynamically inflatable objects/props as input/output devices and that does not rely on screen based interactions (LEDs embedded in the object and sound can be used). The goal of this thesis work is to design, implement and test prototypes of novel tangible game concepts that explore the design space and the user experience of tangible game concepts with soft and malleable, handheld interface props. The game should create engaging interactive experiences for the players without the use of a screen and support physical exertion. The game concept can be based on a (modified) existing game/sport, a new game concept or an augmented sport. More Detail
Machine Learning for Sensor Data Analysis in Deformable Tangible Objects for HCI Applications (BSc/MSc)
The goal of this thesis work is to implement algorithms and (embedded) software to merge and interpret (real time) data from multiple sensors by using common machine learning techniques (and tricks) to robustly distinguish between different physical input gestures for tangible HCI applications. Ready-to-use electronics and sensing platforms for development will be provided as a basis for the thesis work. Soft/Flexible and inflatable objects with integrated sensors can be provided for testing. Custom inflatables with integrated electronics and sensing can be produced at the Digital Bauhaus Lab and at the Bauhaus Apparate Labor using a custom CNC controlled heat-welding machine for Nylon or TPU. More Detail
Mapping signals in different modalities - M.Sc (or very advanced B.Sc)
If we represent data in different modalities of representation (auditory, visual, haptic, etc), how would these different representational modalities align with each other? What haptic signal would correspond to a given auditory signal? Or to a visual representation= This theses project is to run an experiment where participants will map auditory signals to vibration levels, or colour output (or light intensity), while doing think-aloud. Besides of systematizing how people align the different signals, we want to know how people go about this talk, and their thought process.
Required skills: user studies, systematic organisation of studies and analysis skills (potentially also basic electronic prototyping),
This will be a collaboration with Dr. Trevor Hogan at Cork Institute of Technology (for this reason ideally the studies should be conducted in English).
Participatory Designing Textile Interfaces for Everyday Applications – M.Sc.
This thesis proposal aims for designing and developing a textile-based application for an everyday purpose in close collaboration with the end user. It could be for wellbeing (e.g. an interactive yoga matte), for social interaction (e.g. a jacket with smartphone features), or for cultural events (e.g. a sensitive dance floor). We are open to your ideas but we also suggest concrete application topics if wished. The interface should consist of textile materials. Sensors and actuators are to be carefully embedded into it. Technologies you will use are e.g. Arduino or Adafruit Feather, and the range of available input and output modalities is huge depending on the purpose you develop for. Further useful materials are e.g. conductive fabrics, zippers, snaps, threads and yarns. Your thesis work will be completed by ongoing qualitative user studies. You will conceptualize, design and develop the product together with the target group.
Textile Interfaces for Kids & Youth – B.Sc./M.Sc.
The idea of this thesis proposal is to design and develop an application for kids or youth that consist of fabrics. This could be a garment or a toy that engages this user group to interact with an innovative interface, like e.g. an MP3-Player integrated into a hoodie or a soft cube for babies containing light/sound/haptic elements. You are free to come up with an own idea and suggest a specific application. The interface should consist of textile materials. Sensors and actuators are to be carefully embedded into it. Technologies you will use are e.g. Arduino LilyPad or Adafruit Feather. Further useful materials are e.g. conductive fabrics, zippers, snaps, threads and yarns. Your thesis work will be completed by a qualitative user study.
DIY Textile-based Electronics – B.Sc./M.Sc.
This thesis proposal aims at further research in the field of textile-based PCBs, sensors and actuators. Lots of publications and online tutorials (e.g.http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/) can befound on this topic. Your work wil start with a literature research and own electronic experiments. You don't need elaborated sewing skills (there are much more techniques, such as glueing ironing, or crimping) but strong interest in tinkering and experimenting with differnt types of materials (technical and textile components). Your thesis research is to be completed either with small user studies, technical comparison tests or surveys with expert users.