60.007 Interaction Design for Cyber-Physical Artifacts

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Course Description

This course focuses on the human-centered design, engineering, and evaluation of interactive cyber-physical artifacts through a variety of user study and interaction prototyping techniques. It is designed as the next level of HCI courses by emphasizing social robotics, cyber-physical prototyping, and user studies (both online & in-person). The course framework is rooted in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), an interdisciplinary field investigating how robots interact with people in a social world. Please be noted that “robot” here is a broad concept referring to cyber-physical artifacts with physical movement or reconfiguration capabilities including non-humanoids, robotic furnishings, cyber-physical installations/spaces, etc. Students in this class will go through the complete cycles of user studies (from IRB application to data analysis) and interaction prototyping (both digital and cyber-physical), which will pave a solid path for pursuing future careers related to UX, IxD (Interaction Design), HRI, and HCI no matter in industry or academia.


There are no prerequisites. However, students are strongly recommended to have taken one of the following two courses before enrolling this course: “HCI and AI (from “DAI” program)” or “ISTD 50.006 User Interface Design and Implementation.”

In addition, students are strongly recommended to finish SUTD CITI training before the class starts. Please register and log into the CITI Training website (https://about.citiprogram.org/), add your affiliation as “SUTD,” and then finish the “Social & Behavioral Research – Basic/Refresher” (15 modules). It will take you about 4.5 hours (a rough estimation).

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain the key HRI concepts and examples introduced in this course.
  2. Create interaction prototypes and cyber-physical prototypes to speculate and simulate contextualized user interactions.
  3. Apply the user study methods introduced in this course rigorously to group projects.
  4. Analyze qualitative and quantitative data systematically using the introduced methods.
  5. Design and evaluate novel HRI for different contexts.

Measurable Outcomes

This course focus on project-based, interdisciplinary learning. There are no exams.

    1. Completion of SUTD CITI training and submission of SUTD IRB application forms for group projects.
    2. Development and demo of a functional skeleton prototype and a high-fi cyber-physical prototype (examples will be shown in the class).
    3. Development and delivery of a final report that is logically sound, contently convincing, structurally clear, and well written (examples and templates will be given in the class).
    4. Development and delivery of a design diary that detailly records design process, user study process, and decision-making process (examples and templates will be given in the class).
    5. Development and delivery of a project video that clearly and vividly describes the project, and interaction videos/GIFs for the purpose of online/in-person user studies (examples will be given in the class).

Textbook(s) and/or Other Required Material

  • Bartneck, Christoph, Tony Belpaeme, Friederike Eyssel, Takayuki Kanda, Merel Keijsers, and Selma Šabanović. “Human-robot interaction: An introduction.” Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • Hoffman, Guy, and Wendy Ju. “Designing robots with movement in mind.” Journal of Human-Robot Interaction 3, no. 1 (2014): 91-122.
  • Van Boeijen, A., Daalhuizen, J., van der Schoor, R., & Zijlstra, J. (2014). Delft design guide: Design strategies and methods. P55 (mind map)
  • About Behavioral Studies: Kerlinger, F. & Lee, H. (2000). Foundations of behavioral research, 4th ed. New York: Harcourt.

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