PneUI: Pneumatically Actuated Soft Composite Materials for Shape Changing Interfaces

Lining Yao, Ryuma Niiyama, Jifei Ou, Sean Follmer, Clark Della Silva, Hiroshi Ishii


This paper presents PneUI, an enabling technology to build shape-changing interfaces through pneumatically-actuated soft composite materials. The composite materials integrate the capabilities of both input sensing and active shape output. This is enabled by the composites’ multi-layer structures with different mechanical or electrical properties. The shape changing states are computationally controllable through pneumatics and pre-defined structure. We explore the design space of PneUI through four applications: height changing tangible phicons, a shape changing mobile, a transformable tablet case and a shape shifting lamp.

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