The Interactive Technologies Institute joined the Técnico Taguspark Open Day on November 12. On this Saturday, we celebrated its 22nd anniversary where we demonstrated some of the research being currently developed by the team. Patrícia Piedade and Francisco Cecílio, master students, represented ITI during the event.
Programming with felt markers
The first hands-on activity challenged young visitors to learn more about programming through the usage of Ozobots. These are tiny robots capable of performing different actions by reading colour sequences drawn on paper. Children must choose the right colour sequences to lead the Ozobots to the desired path when presented with a maze. Patrícia Piedade currently uses Ozobots in her research to foster inclusion through collaboration between neurotypical and neurodivergent children during class. Children could not only try to solve our mazes but also draw their own – some of them were rather complex.
Doing exercise in augmented reality
Additionally, we presented the activity ARCADE, which is a physiotherapy support system. It uses augmented-reality features and storytelling to provide the users with a personalised exercise plan. The system uses a chapter-based compelling narrative to motivate users to stick with the exercise plan. The research team selected the story taking into consideration the feedback given by the target audience. During this day, visitors were able to try the system developed by Francisco Cecílio and provided helpful feedback to improve the tool. Currently, the ARCADE only supports upper limb exercises, but further developments could promote the rehabilitation of other body parts.
During the day, we welcomed children and adults to try out what our research on Human-Computer Interaction research looks like. The Técnico Taguspark Open Day included the participation of other Técnico research centres which shared their research projects with the general audience. Participants could also get to know research laboratories, visit exhibits on display, and attend workshops and open classes.