Existing approaches for embedding unobtrusive tags inside 3D~objects require either complex fabrication or high-cost imaging equipment. We present InfraredTags, which are 2D markers and barcodes imperceptible to the naked eye that can be 3D printed as part of objects, and detected rapidly by low-cost near-infrared cameras. We achieve this by printing objects from an infrared-transmitting filament, which infrared cameras can see through, and by having air gaps inside for the tag's bits, which appear at a different intensity in the infrared image.
We built a user interface that facilitates the integration of common tags (QR codes, ArUco markers) with the object geometry to make them 3D printable as InfraredTags. We also developed a low-cost infrared imaging module that augments existing mobile devices and decodes tags using our image processing pipeline. Our evaluation shows that the tags can be detected with little near-infrared illumination (0.2lux) and from distances as far as 250cm. We demonstrate how our method enables various applications, such as object tracking and embedding metadata for augmented reality and tangible interactions.
We present Print-A-Sketch, an open-source handheld printer prototype for sketching circuits and sensors. Print-A-Sketch combines desirable properties from free-hand sketching and functional electronic printing. Manual human control of large strokes is augmented with computer control of fine detail. Shared control of Print-A-Sketch supports sketching interactive interfaces on everyday objects -- including many objects with materials or sizes which otherwise are difficult to print on. We present an overview of challenges involved in such a system and show how these can be addressed using context-aware, dynamic printing. Continuous sensing ensures quality prints by adjusting inking-rate to hand movement and material properties. Continuous sensing also enables the print to adapt to previously printed traces to support incremental and iterative sketching. Results show good conductivity on many materials and high spatial precision, supporting on-the-fly creation of functional interfaces.
We present FoolProofJoint, a software tool that simplifies the assembly of laser-cut 3D models and reduces the risk of erroneous assembly. FoolProofJoint achieves this by modifying finger joint patterns. Wherever possible, FoolProofJoint makes similar looking pieces fully interchangeable, thereby speeding up the user’s visual search for a matching piece. When that is not possible, FoolProofJoint gives finger joints a unique pattern of individual finger placements so as to fit only with the correct piece, thereby preventing erroneous assembly. In our benchmark set of 217 laser-cut 3D models downloaded from kyub.com, FoolProofJoint made groups of similar looking pieces fully interchangeable for 65% of all groups of similar pieces; FoolProofJoint fully prevented assembly mistakes for 97% of all models.
One important vision of robotics is to provide physical assistance by manipulating different everyday objects, e.g., hand tools, kitchen utensils. However, many objects designed for dexterous hand-control are not easily manipulable by a single robotic arm with a generic parallel gripper. Complementary to existing research on developing grippers and control algorithms, we present Roman, a suite of hardware design and software tool support for robotic engineers to create 3D printable mechanisms attached to everyday handheld objects, making them easier to be manipulated by conventional robotic arms. The Roman hardware comes with a versatile magnetic gripper that can snap on/off handheld objects and drive add-on mechanisms to perform tasks. Roman also provides software support to register and author control programs. To validate our approach, we designed and fabricated Roman mechanisms for 14 everyday objects/tasks presented within a design space and conducted expert interviews with robotic engineers indicating that Roman serves as a practical alternative for enabling robotic manipulation of everyday objects.
Recent advancements in personal fabrication have brought novices closer to a reality, where they can automate routine tasks with mobilized everyday objects. However, the overall process remains challenging- from capturing design requirements and motion planning to authoring them to creating 3D models of mechanical parts to programming electronics, as it demands expertise.
We introduce Mobiot, an end-user toolkit to help non-experts capture the design and motion requirements of legacy objects by demonstration. It then automatically generates 3D printable attachments, programs to operate assembled modules, a list of off-the-shelf electronics, and assembly tutorials. The authoring feature further assists users to fine-tune as well as to reuse existing motion libraries and 3D printed mechanisms to adapt to other real-world objects with different motions. We validate Mobiot through application examples with 8 everyday objects with various motions applied, and through technical evaluation to measure the accuracy of motion reconstruction.