Friday, October 16, 3-4:30 p.m. Register (required)

Breakout Session Schedule

Capping off CU Boulder's 2020 Research and Innovation Week, take a virtual open lab tour and learn about the ATLAS Institute's inventive exploration and interdisciplinary research in fields like human-robot interaction, human-computer interaction, computing for health and wellness, e-textiles, visual cognition, wearable technologies, personal diagnostics, nanoscale engineering, the technology of visual language and more.

Opening remarks by ATLAS Director Mark D. Gross will be followed with lightning talks by lab directors. In the breakout sessions that follow, visitors can take a deeper dive into the work of individual labs and studios. 

This event is free and open to the public, and will be held via Zoom.

Participating Labs, Studios, Artists and Creative Technologists

ACME Lab Directed by Ellen Do
A Creativity Machine Environment Lab works on computational tools for design, especially sketching, creativity and design cognition, including creativity support tools and design studies, tangible and embedded interaction and, most recently, computing for health and wellness. 

IRON Lab Directed by Dan Szafir
The Interactive Robotics and Novel Technologies Lab explores human-centered principles for novel sensing, interactive and robotic technologies. Blending techniques from computer science, design, engineering and the social sciences, the lab creates technologies that enable more nuanced and intuitive forms of robotic assistance in collaborative work, education and space exploration.

Laboratory for Emergent Nanomaterials Directed by Carson Bruns
The Emergent Nanomaterials Lab manipulates matter on the smallest of scales to create materials with emergent properties, characterized by novel and sometimes surprising features arising from the interactions of multiple bodies. By synthesizing, assembling, combining, and organizing nanoscale building blocks, researchers design technologies that enhance the quality of human lives in the domains of health, energy, sensory augmentation and self-expression.

Living Matter Lab Directed by Mirela Alistar
The Living Matter Lab, directed by Mirela Alistar, looks to move complex diagnostics out of the lab and into the home through pioneering new technologies, in particular through developing compact and highly configurable digital microfluidic biochips.

Aubrey Shick
Aubrey Shick is a product designer and researcher, specializing in socially assistive agents, wearable computing and medical devices. 

Joel Swanson
Joel's artwork is motivated by literary theory and exists as a series of installations, both real and virtual, that explore the nature of language and its embodiment. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

THING Lab Directed by Daniel Leithinger
The Transformative Human Interfaces for the Next Generation (THING) Lab employs shape-changing materials, novel sensors and unique design methods to make digital information tangible, paving the way for a new generation of interactivity that goes beyond sight and sound.

Unstable Design Lab Directed by Laura Devendorf
The Unstable Design Lab interweaves anthropology, art, design and engineering to imagine the future of human-technology relationships. We explore how instability—the idea that technology may challenge us, or not work as we expect—can be embraced through design to live more humanely, creatively and sustainably with technology.

VisuaLab Directed by Danielle Szafir
Investigates the intersection of data science, visual cognition and computer graphics, modelling how people make sense of visual information to create better interfaces for exploring and understanding information.

Whaaat!? Lab Directed by Matt Bethancourt & Danny Rankin
The Whaaat!? Lab explores and designs games and experimental interactions that aim to surprise and delight in ways that make the player say, “whaaat!?"

Projects Presented During Breakout Sessions

AR for Shared Control Connor Brooks                    
Using augmented reality, users are shown how to steer difficult-to-control robots through providing autonomous guidance of a robot's motion.

Bioplastics Fiona Bell, Ella Mcquaid, Netta Offer, Ethan Frier, Mirela Alistar                   
The creation of bioplastics as a sustainable alternative to traditional plastics, including bioplastics that change color in UV light and an edible, flavor-impregnated bioplastic packaging for ramen. Watch Video 
Living Matter Lab

Buy! Sell! Matt Bethancourt, Danny Rankin                   
This award-winning, fast-paced, multi-player, stock-trading game uses analog telephones as game controllers, and players watch a fictional trading terminal full of charts and breaking news to make split-second decisions whether to buy or sell stocks.
Whaaat!? Lab

Cheer Tech Mary Etta West, Carlie Charp                   
A wearables development platform designed to produce aesthetic, culturally and personally relevant, interactive artifacts that encourages congruence between the performing arts and computer science.

Chemistry Lab Automation Kailey Shara, Carson Bruns, Justin Hall                    
Building hardware and software systems to automate synthetic organic chemistry research.
Laboratory for Emergent Nanomaterials

Debugging by Design Ann Eisenberg, Mark D. Gross, Michael Schneider, Chris Hill, Arielle Blum                    
A study of how students use hardware and software tools to debug e-textile circuits and the educational implications of these activities.
Craft Tech Lab

Design Memoirs Laura Devendorf, Kristina Anderson, Aisling Keliher                     
An investigation of the limits of design through creating “memoirs” with objects that told of the three researchers' (and mothers') felt experiences and bringing out practices of witnessing and honoring instead of resolving.
Unstable Design Lab

Do GPT-2s Dream of Electric Poetry? Brad Gallagher, Joel Swanson
Using OpenAI’s GPT-2 and traditional recurrent neural networks, this exploration uses social and personal relationships and the narratives they imply to produce machine-generated texts.
Joel Swanson Studio

Eight-and-a-Half-By-Eleven Joel Swanson
Images from Assistant Professor Joel Swanson's solo exhibition, "Eight-and-a-Half-By-Eleven," as well as various other projects in development
Joel Swanson Studio

EmotiTactor: Emotional Expression of Robotic Physical Contact Ran Zhou, Yanzhe Wu, Daniel Leithinger, Harpreet Sareen
A robotic interface performs haptic stimulations for communicating primary emotions to humans through a series of mechanical tactors.

HASEL-UI (Shape Changing Soft Actuators) Purnendu, Daniel Leithinger, Carson Bruns, Christoph Keplinger
A design toolkit used to prototype shape-changing user interfaces based on hydraulically amplified, self-healing electrostatic (HASEL) actuators.
Laboratory for Emergent Nanomaterials, THING Lab

How to Delete the Dead Katie Z. Gach, Jed R. Brubaker
Ritual-based practices that honor the deceased in times of grief in technologically-mediated human interactions.
Identity Lab, Dept. of Information Science

LiftTiles Ryo Suzuki, Daniel Leithinger, Ryosuke Nakayama, Dan Liu, Yasuaki Kakehi, Mark D. Gross
A modular and reconfigurable room-scale shape display consisting of an array of retractable and inflatable actuators that are compact and light, allowing for large-scale shape transformation. Watch Video

Mixed Reality Interfaces for Human-Robot Field Teams Michael Walker, David Blair
A mixed-reality interface that visually presents data collected by human and robot team members to improve situational awareness in the field during emergency response operations.

Open Source tools for Smart Weaving Laura Devendorf, Shanel Wu, Sasha de Koninck, Mikhaila Friske, Emma Goodwill
Tools to support the design and fabrication of smart textiles, providing features that encourage sustainable practices and reuse through design.
Unstable Design Lab

Personal Biochips Mirela Alistar, Elise Niehaus, Luis Miese, Shenali Uragoda
Devices with programmable microfluidic biochips that could potentially be used to perform medical tests at home. Watch Video
Living Matter Lab

POPO: A Virtual Reality Programming Language Julia Uhr, Ajume Wingo, Ellen Do, Daniel Leithinger
A 3D visual programming language, accessed using virtual reality headsets, designed for building virtual reality environments.

The Prodigal Glove Sasha Novack, Allison Heckman, Malika Rakhmonova, Mirela Alistar
Electro-muscular stimulation (EMS) with a magnetic rail stimulates users' finger muscles in patterns specific to finger positions on keyboards, with applications for remote instruction of tasks that require fine motor skills.
Living Matter Lab

PufferBot: Actuated Expandable Structures for Aerial Robots, Hooman Hedayati, Ryo Suzuki, Daniel Leithinger, Daniel Szafir
An aerial robot with an expandable protective structure that deploys to encircle the drone, preventing the drone's rotors from coming in contact with obstacles or people. Watch Video

RealitySketch Daniel Leithinger, Rubaiat Habib Kazi, Li-Yi Wei, Stephen DiVerdi, Wilmot Li
A way to visualize and analyze real-world phenomena through responsive graph plots or interactive visualizations.

RoomShift Ryo Suzuki, Daniel Leithinger, Hooman Hedayati, Clement Zheng, James Bohn, Daniel Szafir, Ellen Yi-Luen Do, Mark D. Gross, Daniel Leithinger
A room-scale dynamic haptic environment for virtual reality featuring nine shape-changing Roomba robots that can move and place furniture to augment and match the physical environment to the virtual scenes that the users experience. Watch video

ShapeBots Ryo Suzuki, Daniel Leithinger, Clement Zheng, Yasuaki Kakehi, Tom Yeh, Ellen Yi-Luen Do, Mark D. Gross, Daniel Leithinger
A computer interface consisting of a swarm of robots that can change their shapes to display information.

Smart Tattoos Carson Bruns, Jesse Butterfield, Jennifer Quigley, Patrick McSpadden
Tattoo pigments engineered to protect the skin or to change color, including UV protective tattoos. Watch Video
Laboratory for Emergent Nanomaterials

Socially Assistive Agents / PEERbots Aubrey Shick, Ellen Do, Danielle Szafir
Teleoperated puppet "robots" used by therapists or teachers to support young children struggling to interact over Zoom, especially during the pandemic.
Aubrey Shick, ACME Lab, VisuaLab

Touching Trends Sandra Bae, Peter Gyory, Ruhan Yang, Julia Uhr, Danielle Szafir, Ellen Do
Helping children reason about the pandemic through the creative process of making while enhancing their data literacy.
ACME Lab, VisuaLab

TorqueController: Ungrounded Torque Feedback for a Teleoperated Aerial Robot Wyatt Rees
A customized drone controller that uses an attached system of dynamic flywheels to generate ungrounded torque feedback, signaling to the user potential environmental hazards.

Undoing Sasha de Koninck
A series of garments woven with materials that dissolve in response to body heat and moisture, marking time and the emotional state of the wearer.
Unstable Design Lab

Understanding Data Accessibility for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) Keke Wu, Emma Petersen, Tahmina Ahmad, David Burlinson, Emily Shea Tanis, Danielle Albers Szafir
A study that identifies performance patterns and subjective preferences for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) when reading common data visualizations.

Register (required)


ATLAS is an interdisciplinary institute for radical creativity and invention at the University of Colorado Boulder. An academic community with close ties to the College of Engineering and Applied Science, ATLAS transforms ingenious ideas into reality through research, experimentation and critical thinking. If you aren't already on our email list, join now.