21st Century Prototyping

Welcome to our Summer Interns!

This year we’re lucky enough to have three summer interns working with us on the 21st Century Prototyping project. They’ve got a great range of skills – one mechanical engineer, one computer scientist, and one engineering designer – and excellent past experience in a range of industries.

They’ll be working on building our toolkit and capability for future case studies, and aiming to produce a conference paper or two at the end of the summer.

David Exton – Investigating the creation of highly flexible touch interfaces. By the end of this project, we’ll be able to turn any surface on any prototype into a touch interface, and use that to simulate product behaviours and interactions. Think physical products where a user can move the interface at will, with that interface captured and simulated instantly in the digital world to simulate real product behaviour.

Michael Wyrley-Birch – Investigating full positional capture of physical products in 3D space. Our tools regularly need accurate positional tracking of prototypes to replicate and synchronise in the digital world. Michael will be looking at a range of computer vision methods to track prototypes as they evolve, creating one of the major building blocks of our tools and the backbone of physical/digital integration!

Mike Wharton – Creating flexible, reconfigurable haptic interfaces. One of the major downfalls of early stage prototypes is that they don’t feel like the real thing. Mike will be developing small plug-and-play devices that can replicate the dynamic feel of a range of product behaviours, ranging from button presses to vibrations from motors. By the end, we’ll be able to turn any 3D printed prototype into something that simulates real behaviours, giving a much better understanding of how products will feel in use.

All super-interesting projects, look forward to seeing what they produce in a few months time!

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