PhD Defense by Nivedita Arora

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Title: Sustainable Interactive Wireless Stickers - From Materials to Devices to Applications


Nivedita Arora

Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science

School of Interactive Computing

Georgia Institute of Technology


Date: Monday, Nov 14, 2022

Time: 9 AM - 12 noon (ET) 

Location (Hybrid):
In-person: Coda C1215 Midtown

Zoom:  https://gatech.zoom.us/j/95424181339?pwd=cmJRcFJDZ3N0RjRGeTRVY0RZdmdzQT09 



Dr. Gregory D. Abowd (Co-Advisor), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, USA  and School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Dr. Thad E. Starner (Co-Advisor), School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Dr. Hyunjoo Oh, School of Interactive Computing & School of Industrial Design, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA 

Dr. Josiah Hester, School of Interactive Computing & School of Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA 

Dr. Sauvik Das, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Dr. Joseph A. Paradiso, Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 


Thesis Statement: Self-sustaining inexpensive interactive stickers can support wireless communication of speech, movement, and touch interactions with feedback in indoor scenarios.



Today’s IoT devices are bulky, expensive, require battery maintenance, and costly installation. In contrast, the interactive stickers introduced in this thesis are maintenance-free, inexpensive, and easy-to-deploy. Focusing on power, form factor, and cost as system design parameters, I create stickers that have simple circuitry and can sustain themselves while wirelessly communicating and responding to various human interactions. 


This work will introduce four projects with iteratively increasing capabilities. First, SATURN is self-powered flexible audio and vibration based on a triboelectric generator made from inexpensive everyday materials like paper and plastic. Next, ZEUSSS stickers extend a single SATURN microphone to have wireless communication capability leveraging extremely simple passive circuitry. MARS stickers improve ZEUSSS by allowing simultaneous multiple-channel communication capability for speech, swipe, and touch interactions in sub-microwatt power. 

Finally, VENUS adds feedback to the stickers in the form of a low-voltage display powered by the human body or ambient room light. 


The material device, circuit, and system innovations in this dissertation pave the way forward for a world where computation can be truly woven into everyday physical objects and surfaces.



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