Our Projects

What we've been working on.

Healthcare

Humana National Project


Challenge: How can we enable seniors with complex conditions to use digital technologies in managing their health?


Community Partners: Humana


Status: Project has launched

Finance

Senior Financial Literacy


Challenge: How can we utilize emerging technologies to improve financial literacy for senior citizens?


Community Partners: Synchrony, AARP


Status: Project is launching

Education

Edison Project: Middle School Boys


Challenge: How can we help middle school boys identify problems within their own lives and move to resolve them independently?


Community Partners: Edison Middle School


Status: Project is launching

Education

Edison Project: Engaged Parents


Challenge: How can we better engage parents in their child’s school experience?


Community Partners: Edison Middle School


Status: Project is launching

Accessibility

Accessibility in Businesses


Challenge: How can we design a comprehensive and reliable accessibility checklist for businesses?


Community Partners: Open Doors Organization


Status: Project is launching

Past Projects

Look into some of the past passions of our Studio, some continuing today in varying degrees. Each of these projects aimed to understand local challenges and expand our members' experience in human-centered design.

Transportation

FCA National Project: LookUp!


Challenge: How can we facilitate communication between autonomous cars and other road users at multi-modal crossroads?


Community Partners: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles


Solution: Localize attention of the user near the steering wheel. LookUp! provides a digital interactive module at the steering wheel, embracing natural user behavior by promoting safer driving practices.

Healthcare

TherapAlz


Challenge: How can we reduce the emotional and physical burden of caregivers of people with Alzheimer's?


Community Partners: Circle of Friends Adult Daycare


Solution: Created TherepAlz - robotic therapeutic animals with technologies designed to help patients of dementia related disorders.

Healthcare

Public Health


Challenge: How can we improve student mental health on campus? (Project done in collaboration with DFA at Michigan State)


Solution: Created BetterU - a mobile app for university students that will foster an open environment when dealing with issues of mental health.

Infrastructure

Urban Flooding


Challenge: How can we help homeowners better cope with flooding?


Community Partners: John Street Water Shed


Solution: Created an educational and interactive website that lets homeowners plan the building of their rain gardens and other flood prevention methods.

Safety

Worker's Safety


Challenge: How can we reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities in the workplace environment?


Sponsor: Newell-Rubbermaid


Solution: Designed and built VersaView, the market's first universal, mobile, smart mirror. VersaView is designed to allow the optimal range of vision and warning signals for forklift drivers, to prevent collisions with other forklifts and pedestrians on the factory floor. The smart mirror features an LED halo that indicates objects as they approach from either side, a convex mirror that gives clear view of working area, joints for installation in any necessary position, and locking wheels to prevent tipping.

Mobility

Family Driving For All Abilities


Challenge: How can we use features of a car to liberate people with epilepsy with the ability to drive confidently?


Community Partners: Chrysler


Solution: Designed ResponSense, a sweat sensor and breath sensor that would alert a driver of a potential seizure and relay information to the vehicle and passenger. Fully equipped with dashboard indicators, lane departure systems, and autonomous cruise control systems, ResponsSense would allow drivers with epilepsy to feel as comfortable on the road as any other driver.

Waste

Electronic Waste


Challenge: How can we increase the use of rechargeable batteries and increase recycling of old batteries?


Community Partners: U-Cycle, Champaign Public Works, Campus Sustainability Group.


Solution: Designed a wireless battery charging device for household items such as a TV remote or Xbox controller. Also created an infographic to teach people about the harms of battery waste.

Mobility

Driving independence for older adults


Challenge: How can we make alerts and warnings more intuitive and less intrusive for older drivers?


Community Partners: Chrysler


Solution: Developed a “turning headlight” a headlight that turns on whenever the vehicle slows down before taking a turn, to help seniors with their visibility. Also developed “spatial lights,” an internal, colored lighting system that signals drivers of their distance from external objects.

Accessibility

People with Disabilities


Challenge:How can we increase workplace accessibility for wheelchair users?


Community Partners: Students of Nugent Hall


Solution: Created an attachment to plug and unplug appliances to wall sockets that would make it easy for people in wheelchairs to use outlets, no matter what height they were at.

Safety

Campus Safety (Application Project)


Challenge: How can we increase campus safety and make students feel comfortable walking home at night?


Community Partners: Students on campus


Solution: Created a mobile app for the university's Safe Rides program. The app automatically sends your location, preloads other information, and make the whole Safe Rides experience easier than waiting on hold on the phone. It aims to promote a more safety conscious student body. By increasing safety awareness, the mobile app can help decrease crime on campus and get students home safely.

Technology Overuse

Look Up Luke


How can we help parents in their homes encourage the limiting of technology usage to benefit familial relationships?

Better Sleep

Somnia


How can we make a system to help college students on a monophasic sleep cycle take non-disruptive naps anywhere and anytime?

Renewable Energy

Greener St.


How can we increase the adoption of renewable energy sources in the area around Green St. through student designed mechanisms?

Multimedia Education

Route 1867


How can we inform and raise awareness about the large variety of academic disciplines available to current & incoming UIUC students through multimedia?

Crosswalk Safety

Urbana Walks


How can we increase pedestrian safety on campus and make drivers aware of people crossing the street?

Environment

Water Conservation


How can we develop more efficient irrigation systems to help farmers in central California conserve water?

Mental Health

Suicide Prevention


How can we detect/improve the state of depression among college students?

Safety

Gun Safety


How can we help law enforcement and administrators distinguish toy weapons from dangerous weapons?

Environment

Electronic Device Reuse


How can we make it more convenient for the users to reuse electronic devices?