Interactive product prototyping has been widely taught in industrial design studio courses to prepare design students in dealing with dynamic interactions of using digital products. While it requires the integration of design and technology, the lack of systematic approaches of the studio curricula creates a great challenge for students who are not familiar with technology in creating interactive prototypes successfully. A theoretical framework is developed from the human-machine interaction model and the sequential flow of task analysis methods. Based on this framework, a human-machine interaction (HMI) flow diagram is proposed with which interaction elements, relationships, and flows are specified and categorized. The flow diagram is utilized to create a storyboard and an allocation flowchart subsequently. A structured design process based on these methods was applied to an interactive product design studio course in an undergraduate industrial design program. Students created working prototypes of interactive products, following the structured design process consisting of an HMI flow diagram, a storyboard, and an allocation flowchart. 104 students (87.4%) among 119 succeeded in translating their ideas to functioning circuits. 74 students (62.2%) successfully integrated electronics components into working physical prototypes while 30 students (25.2%) just made the circuits work. The structured design process makes a transition from initial ideation to programming smooth and incremental. This helps students without previous programming experience to understand the logic flow and to develop algorithms. The HMI flow diagram is useful for analysis, concept development, and the specification of interactions, and helps students to grasp the effect of interactive features on user experience.
Prior work on black hole (BH) thermodynamics suggests the entropy depends not on the volume, but rather the surface area of the event horizon. Such findings highlight the intriguing nature of BHs and give rise to the idea that information may be entirely encoded on the surface. We study the case of a superficial Schwarzschild BH, and calculate the net force (Fnet) exerted on the surface of its spherical shell from the self-gravitational pull. We demonstrate that the Fnet is exactly c^4/4G, 3.025•10^43 Newtons, a force that is constant and independent of the size and the mass of the BH, meaning all such Schwarzschild BHs share the same Fnet. Surprisingly, the Fnet matches Fmax, the limit of the maximum force conjecture. This establishes a new potential connection between the formation of BHs and the Fmax. We demonstrate that under the validity of this Fmax, the mass of the superficial BH is contained at precisely the Schwarzschild radius. Finally, we provide further evidence to reject the concept of a point mass singularity and we theorize on the creation of a BH given the findings.
Robotic animal-like companions for older adults are promising technologies that have shown to have health benefits, especially for individuals with dementia, and good adoption rates in some previous studies. Our project, Affordable Robotic Intelligence for Elderly Support, aims to design new capabilities for companionship and smart care, but at high affordability. In a 6-month longitudinal study of baseline acceptance and well-being, we assessed the impact of an Ageless Innovation Joy for All™ robotic pet on user acceptance and emotional well-being (depression, loneliness, positive emotions). Nineteen participants from independent and assisted living facilities completed three standardized in-person surveys, each 3 months apart, including the CES-D, measures of Loneliness, Emotions, Attitude towards Technology (ATI), and various measures of evaluation of and engagement with robotic technology. The measures showed modest to very good reliability and meaningful construct validity. Participants in this sample showed little depression or loneliness, and these levels did not further decrease over the six months. People welcomed the pet and expressed positive evaluations of it, and these sentiments were stable over time. Attitudes toward technology varied but were unrelated to well-being measures and to robot evaluations. Our current conclusion, on the basis of a small sample, is that the selected robotic pet companion is appreciated and seen as beneficial, and for adults who are already low in depression and loneliness, the robot companion helps maintain the adult’s emotional well-being but does not further increase it.