Hey there, I am

Yuanzhi Cao

 - Ph.D. candidate

 - HCI/HRI researcher

 - Augmented Reality UX

 - Designer

 - Maker

 

RESEARCH

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My current research interest is in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). I specialize in designing interactive systems that provide novel Augmented Reality (AR) user experience for smartthing applications, such as Machines, Robotics, and IoTs

  • AvatutAR.jpg
    An Exploratory Study of Augmented Reality Presence
    for Tutoring Machine Tasks

    AvaTutAR (study)

    published in CHI 2020

  • GhostAR_teaser.jpg
    A Time-space Editor for Embodied Authoring of Human-Robot
    Collaborative Task with Augmented Reality

    GhostAR

    published in UIST 2019

  • VRa_teaser.jpg
    An In-Situ Visual Authoring System for Robot-IoT
    Task Planning with Augmented Reality

    V.Ra

    published in DIS 2019

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    Spatially Mapping Smart Things Within Augmented Reality Scenes
    Using UWB Distance Sensing Modules

    SynchronizAR

    published in UIST 2018

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    Spatially Mapping Smart Things Within Augmented Reality Scenes
    Using UWB Distance Sensing Modules

    ScenarIoT

    published in CHI 2018

  • Capture2.jpg
    A Modular Robotics System Supporting Creation, Tweaking,
    and Usage with Mixed-Reality Interactions

    Ani-Bot

    published in TEI 2018

  • Capture3.jpg
    Mix-Dimension Modeling and Fabrication for 3D Mesh Models

    WireFab

    published in CHI 2017

 

DESIGN

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Ever since I was a kid in primary school, I have been attending art classes during the weekends for as long as seven years, to learn and practice drawing skills like sketching and painting. Though I did not choose to go that path as a professional artist, the experience and the skill certainly makes a huge impact on my life, and for that, I am forever grateful to my mother. I was learning mechanical engineering during my undergrad and now human-computer interaction. However, I have always considered myself a designer, whose purpose is to imagine and create. In everything I have designed or fabricated, I try to infuse my own sense of aesthetics, not just to make things look pretty, but to seek a balance between engineering and art.

  • B.jpg

    Skywalker

    2013 Apr - May

    This is a concept design of the eco-power vehicle with fair mechanical details, it is my undergrad senior design
  • SuperCockroach.jpg

    SuperRoach

    2012 Mar - Apr

    This is a concept bionic mechanical design based on the cockroach creature, 1st prize in a national competition
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    Tronysonic 

    2011 July - Aug

    This is a concept motorbike I have designed based on the movie TRON, would love to build one in the future
  • Spitfire

    2011 Mar - Apr

    This is a modeling and visualization of the famous British Spitfire fighter airplane, it is also my first design project
 

MAKER

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As a proud Engineer and Maker, I love to make real stuff with my own hands. I am a huge fan of the culture of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and love to create physical prototypes. During my Ph.D. career, I have created a lot of low-cost Robotics and Internet-of-Things (IoT) prototypes with accessible materials and cheap electronics. These prototypes have been greatly helpful in terms of demonstrating the potential use-case scenarios for my research ideas.

  • vra_bot.jpg

    Smartthing prototypes

    2017 - 2019

    Here are the low cost/fidelity prototypes of robots and IoTs for use case demonstration  
  • wireFab.jpg

    WireFab models

    2016 Feb - Aug

    These are the wire-based models I have created for WireFab to guide the software design
  • forceDUT.jpg

    Ecopower vehicles

    2009 - 2011

    This is the single-driver ecopower vehicle I have built with my team during my undergrad
 

SKETCH

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I believe sketching is the best tool for brainstorming. When an exciting new idea emerges in my head, I like to quickly sketch it out before it slips away. I constantly use sketches to communicate with my colleagues and report to my advisors. My sketching skill has been improving during these years and right now I am able to create high-quality sketches that can be directly used in official written documents. In fact, I have been responsible for most of the sketches in my papers and the proposals in the C Design Lab in the past a few years.