We developed Rovables a platform for mobile wearables. It is a centimeter-sized robot that can move freely on unmodified clothing. The robots are held in place by magnetic wheels, and can climb vertically. The robots are untethered and have an onboard battery, microcontroller, and wireless communications. They also contain a low-power localization system that uses wheel encoders and IMU, allowing Rovables to perform limited autonomous navigation on the body. We propose an interaction space for mobile on-body devices spanning sensing, actuation, and interfaces, and develop application scenarios in that space.



This project was done in collaboration between the Media Lab (Cindy Kao, Deborah Ajilo, Chris Schmandt, Joe Paradiso) and Stanford Universtiy  (Inrak Choi, Maggie Xu, Sean Follmer)


A. Dementyev, H.L. Kao, I. Choi, D. Ajilo, M. Xu, J. Paradiso, C. Schmandt, S. Follmer “Rovables: Miniature On-Body Robots as Mobile Wearables”, In Proc. of UIST 2016 (pdf) BEST PAPER AWARD