Workshop on Autonomous Everyday Objects

Exploring Actuation in Ubiquitous Devices

at Ubicomp 2016 in Heidelberg, Germany

Welcome to the webpage for the Workshop on Autonomous Everyday Objects, held at the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing UbiComp 2016 in Heidelberg, Germany from Sep. 12-16, colocated with ISWC 2016 .

This workshop will be held together with the (IOT Horizons) New Horizons for the IoT in Everyday Life: Proactive, Shared, Sustainable Workshop on Monday, 12th of September

Since the earliest explorations of mechanical devices, technologists have used movement to both fascinate and intrigue observers and to give the impression of intelligence. Equally, classic visions of future homes presented domestic environments suffused with actuated devices, moving and responding in response to their inhabitants. As sensors and actuators have become more ubiquitous, our potential to develop low-cost actuated devices, which employ interactive movements, has increased.

In this workshop, we wish to critically unpack a design space around connected things, autonomous behaviours and smart environments, asking how the objects and devices we use might come to appear more "intelligent" through interaction and movement. We aim to explore how intelligence in such everyday objects is seen and enacted and how physical movement of interfaces can be leveraged for ubicomp and HCI. The workshop will see the presentation and discussion of the participants, followed by practical design and creation sessions in which participants respond to design briefs exploring the actuation of ubicomp devices. Attendees will build prototypes in groups, trying out different modes of actuation using a toolkit which allows to record and playback physical motion. We aim to produce a scale starting from minimal intelligent interfaces to highly smart devices, investigating which actuations might be suitable for different settings, either functionally or for entertainment. No expertise is required, as the facilitators provide a prototyping kit which is easily accessible even for non-technical attendees. Through this workshop we aim to open up opportunities to understand human perception of intelligent behaviours and a design space around autonomously actuated interfaces.

Important Dates

• Authors Submission: June 7th, 2016 (for papers that will be included in the ACM DL)
• Authors Submission: June 21st, 2016 (for papers that will not be included in the ACM DL)
• Author Notification: June 28th, 2016
• Workshop: September 12th, 2016

Call for Participation

We invite submissions of 2-4 page position papers (in ACM Ext. Abstr. format) on the theme of machine intelligence, autonomy and movement in interactive devices. We invite people from all kinds of fields with and without experience in (autonomous) technologies. In particular, we welcome papers that explore or discuss people’s perception of autonomous and moving ubicomp systems. We are also interested in new design ideas, concepts and frameworks. How can we design for autonomy in ubicomp technology? Furthermore of interest are technical challenges and solutions related to the implementation of such systems. What are the risks and what are the potentials? Finally we invite submissions regarding evaluation strategies of autonomous ubicomp devices but also discussions on ethical issues that arise with their use.

The workshop will see the presentation and discussion of these ideas, followed by practical sessions in which participants respond to design briefs investigating actuation of ubicomp devices. No expertise is required, as a prototyping kit is provided, which is easily accessible even for non-technical attendees. Submissions should be sent in pdf format to Free free to contact us, if you have further questions.


09:00 - 09:20 Welcome by organizers & introductions of participants
09:20 - 11:00 Organizer's presentation of the topic and participant's presentations (Mix of Pecha Kucha and Posters)
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 12:30 World Café, discuss proposed topics, answer questions and find solutions
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 14:30 Introduction to practice/making session
14:30 - 16:30 Crafting and making
16:30 - 17:00 Discussing outcomes and compare prototypes, try to relate the prototypes to each other
17:00 - 17:30 Closing discussion and future planning

Reading List

• Diana Nowacka, Nils Y. Hammerla, Chris Elsden, Thomas Plötz, and David Kirk. 2015. Diri - the actuated helium balloon: a study of autonomous behaviour in interfaces. In Proc. of UbiComp '15.
• Patrick Baader, Valentin Schwindt, Normal Phol, Niels Henze, Katrin Wolf, Stefan Schneegass, and Albrecht Schmidt: Self-Actuated Displays for Vertical Surfaces. In Proc. of INTERACT 2015.
• John Helmes, Alex S. Taylor, Xiang Cao, Kristina Höök, Peter Schmitt, and Nicolas Villar. 2010. Rudiments 1, 2 & 3: design speculations on autonomy. In Proc. of TEI '11.
• Diana Nowacka and David Kirk. 2014. Tangible autonomous interfaces (TAIs): exploring autonomous behaviours in TUIs. In Proc. of TEI’14.
• Alex S. Taylor. 2009. Machine intelligence. In Proc. of CHI '09.
• Philip van Allen, Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Brooklyn Brown, Hye Mi Kim, and Daniel Lara. 2013. AniThings: animism and heterogeneous multiplicity. In CHI '13 Ext. Abstracts.
• Majken K. Rasmussen et al. Shape-changing interfaces: a review of the design space and open research questions. In Proc. of CHI’12. ACM.