Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Building Interactive Devices (Wintersemester 2018/2019)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch (Human-Computer Interaction)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 4
  • ECTS: 6
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 26.10.2018
  • Lehrform: Vorlesung
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering BA


This hands-on class teaches two most recent evolution steps in interactive technologies: (1) interaction in 3D space, tracked using depth cameras and (2) interaction with physical matter by means of 3D printers, laser cutters, and robotics.

In teams of two, students are given a projector, a Kinect depth camera, a tripod, an Arduino electronic kit, motors and encodes, a haptic actuator, among other materials.

First half: 3D Interaction based on Computer Vision

  1. (Software Install Day: Bring your own laptop)
  2. Overview
  3. Image Segmentation to make a touchpad
  4. Machine Learning to recognize foot-drawn letters
  5. Homography to make a touchscreen
  6. Unity plus Kinect for gesture interaction
  7. Depth sensing

Second Half: Material Interaction 

  1. Statics, Trusses, and Springs
  2. Arduino and Electronics
  3. Control and Dynamics
  4. Robotics, Actuation, Friction, and Mechanisms
  5. Laser Cutting
  6. Very large and Very Small Actuation
  7. Robotics Competition

The class is held in a single 3h block each week. Most of the class uses a "studio class" format, i.e., extended periods where participants construct prototypes in class while advised by lecturers and teaching assistants. Students write code in C++ using the computer vision toolkit OpenCV and the Kinect SDK to get depth and skeleton data. A large part of the implementation work will take place in class and participants are provided with skeleton code to bootstrap assignments.­­­­­­­­­­­


No prerequisites. An interest in building and coding is certainly beneficial.


There will be 90 min midterm exam and a 90 min final exam. In order to be admitted to the exams, participants successfully complete homework assignments. Students will solve problems in teams of two, implement a series of prototypes, and present their work in class.


The class takes place in a single 3h block Fridays at 9:15 - 12:15 in H-2.57

Class contents involving tool use (such as the laser cutter and 3D printers) will take place in the "HCI Workshop" (die Werkstatt, aka "the shop" aka H-2.45) in the main building on the second floor.

First day of class is "Software Install Day" on 19.10.2018.
This is 3 hours during which you and the teaching team will get your computer ready for class. Bring your own laptop and 6GB of free space. If you have choice, bring a Windows laptop – it just works better running the many different pieces of hardware you will use in this class. We try also to support Mac and Linux – they just run the hardware we give you less well and require you to tweak more. Ideally, before class, already download the development environment (but we still have everything you need).
The setup guide will be linked soon.

Official first day of lecture by Professor Baudisch on 26.10.2018