HCDI showcases at The European edition of the Maker Faire in Rome 14 – 16 October 2016

ASSISTarm was jointly supervised by the Human Centred Design Institute (HCDI) of the Brunel University London in UK and by the Institute of Industrial Technologies and Automation (ITIA) of the National Research Council of Italy.

ASSISTarm is an assistive arm device for children with muscle weakness as a result of Cerebral Palsy, or other neurological conditions. It attaches to a wheelchair, and balances the weight of the user’s arm using spring tension applied through cables to four-bar-linkages. This helps the user to move with very little effort through a sufficient range of motion to carry out activities of daily life such as eating, playing and communicating. The main linkages and pivots are manufactured through 3D printing, which allows the size of the device to be customised to each user. The lower cost of 3D printing compared with metal machining also allows the device to be updated regularly, making it the ideal solution for growing children. Covers on the arm supports and over the mechanisms make the device safer and more comfortable, but can also be personalised to improve the acceptability of the device to each user.


More details at: http://explore.makerfairerome.eu/poi/Exhibit_869

Design driven, materials anchored: How HCD has shaped technology development

Light.Touch.Matters (LTM) EU funded project has reached its conclusion in July 2016 after more than three years of duration. During this period several researchers have been involved in the LTM project exploring different fields of research such as Design Engineering, Innovation Management and Materials Science, just to name a few. The materials RTD stream in Project LTM aimed to develop novel smart materials that allow "the product to become the interface". These "LTM materials" consist of four distinct technological components: piezo plastics for touch sensitivity, OLEDs for luminescent response, a conversion layer for modifying colour, and control electronics (i.e. flexible wiring, power supply, input-output switching IC). New materials take long to go from research to reality. Coming out of the lab, they are usually over-specified on some properties and under-specified on others. Following a traditional approach on materials development, opportunities for innovation are often missed.

Human Centred Design (HCD) and Design-driven materials innovation promise a better way: by involving designers and end-users early on, and by developing material and application in parallel, new meanings can be explored.

Here you can find all the project outcomes in terms of developed materials, design projects, training modules and the methodology defined within project LTM:


Future Materials

On Friday 17 June, Future Materials took place. This event combined the final symposium of Light.Touch.Matters (#‎LTM) EU funded project.

More than 150 (inter)national visitors came to the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of TU Delft to attend the symposium and lecture. They witnessed project coordinator Erik Tempelman closing the European research programme Light.Touch.Matters.

Full details: http://www.io.tudelft.nl/en/news/article/detail/terugblik-future-materials/#.V2u-ng_0yDc.facebook

Workshop at IED Milano on Material Intuition and Radical new materials

Design Researcher James Burchill from the Human Centred Design Institute London runs training sessions in Milan, Italy with students on understanding radical new materials properties as part of the Light.Touch.Matters (#‎LTM) EU funded project

WORKSHOP ‪#‎LTM AT IED, Milan, Italy
“Imagine that a composer discovers a new note, endless possibilities would open up creating a melody”. Our students from the 1st level degree Master in ‪#‎Design and ‪#‎InteriorDesign, have probably felt the same way, during the workshop “Light Touch Matters” in partnership with Material ConneXion Italia, during which were presented new derivatives of ceramics, plastics, metals, and composite materials, with which they could experiment and assume practical applications, that certainly stimulated their creativity

Full details: http://a%20href=

Winning feasibility studies from recent £250,000 Robotics ‘call for research’

HCDI collaborates on autonomous systems project for servicing trains:

  • Robust Automated Servicing of Passenger Train Fluids (RASPT-F), Brunel University London

This project won by Brunel University London will investigate the technological feasibility of developing a fully autonomous track-side system for completing the various externally-accessible ‘fluid’ service tasks on passenger train fleet. The system will be designed to be located outside the maintenance depot, and to be robust in the sense that it remains effective whilst coping with different rolling stock, different fluid functions and access locations, as well as resilient to inevitable adverse weather conditions. It will achieve considerable commercial benefits in terms of reducing train operating costs and reliability, improving servicing safety and freeing depot resources to focus on other maintenance tasks.

Full details: http://www.rruka.org.uk/could-robotics-and-autonomous-systems-help-make-a-step-change-rolling-stock-maintenance/

Also at:http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/technology/single-view/view/train-maintenance-robot-funding.html

Design Thinking as a Designer

Yves Béhar – Fuseproject’s founder – talks on turning small projects into big breaks, his wariness of public speaking, and the contradictory traits that make for the best designers.

“…From Core77 Questionnarie:…..I’m also excited about this notion of the invisible interface. We are way too dependent on physical screens for the information that we receive on them….”

Full details: http://www.core77.com/posts/45778/Core77-Questionnaire-Yves-B%C3%A9har?utm_content=bufferef704&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Sketches for the Public office Landscape

Image credits: Core77

OLED units and touchscreen dashboard controls in Audi’s electric concept car

The e-tron quattro has OLED units fitted in its front and tail lights, as well as interior touchscreen dashboard controls.

The new concept car received its debut at the IAA 2015 automotive show on 17-27 September in Frankfurt.
The headlights of the new vehicle each combine LED luminaires with a flat OLED panel in a technology the Audi has dubbed Matrix laser. A total of 12 OLED elements are also used to form each of the rear lights on the five-doo re-tron quattro.

Full details: http://www.light-touch-matters-project.eu/blog-dettaglio.php?id_post=121

Image credits: Audi

The HCDI Light.Touch.Matters EU-funded project is presented by Euronews “Futuris” to a broad international audience.

Denis Loctier, Euronews’ producer and presenter of the award-winning Futuris series on European research in action, recently visited LTM project at the past workshop held in Eindhoven. He interviewed LTM designers on latest concept developments and had a quick glance at the workshop activities.

The program will go on air starting from Monday 26th 18:45 CET twice a day until Sunday 1st of November.

26/10/2015 18:45 || 27/10/2015 01:45 – 13:16 – 18:16 || 28/10/2015 10:16 – 16:45 || 29/10/2015 15:14 || 30/10/2015 10:15 || 31/10/2015 12:12 – 18:44 || 01/11/2015 10:46 – 20:47

Soon after the broadcast, the program will be made available in all the 13 languages on the euronews website and, few days later, on the euronews’ YouTube channels




A new exciting concept that promises to be an excellent LTM demonstrator in terms of smart materials technology has been presented at WS08 workshop hosted by The Human Centred Design Institute (HCDI) at Brunel University London.


EU FP7 Project Light.Touch.Matters


EU FP7 Project Light.Touch.Matters


Flexible sensors and batteries for a new class of medical devices

A device that can measure changes in skin quality too slight to be detected by human touch. Materials scientist Canan Dagdeviren tells us the new promising opportunity that this flexible material can bring:


Flexible batteries

Top: Dagdeviren’s stretchable skin sensor for detecting early signs of cancer.

Bottom: Flexible, implantable devices that harvest energy from the movement of organs.

user experience design