top of page

Silicone I/O

Malleable objects can take an infinity of physical forms and afford expressive gestures; however, sensing and actuating this movement tends to impose rigid elements, shape constraints and construction complexity. Silicone, suited for soft applications like biomimetic robots and wearables, can be doped with carbon fibre to become piezoresistive/capacitive; and cast with internal air channels to actuate its shape. However, silicone design requires affordance mapping, new prototyping techniques, and identifying the design space these jointly allow. We created a procedure for making soft input/output devices (sI/O) in which sensing and actuation are themselves the silicone structure; defined basic forms for parametric design; then constructed them by casting a silicone brew in lasercut wood and wax moulds. We present methods for sI/O making, wiring, input-recognition and actuation; and catalog and analyze interaction affordances for this medium’s unique geometries and properties.

For more info:

Shakeri, H. (2020). Rapid mold prototyping: creating complex 3D castables from 2D cuts (Master's Thesis, University of British Columbia).

bottom of page