High-Five: Interactive Robotic Hands for Campus Engagement

Amitabh Kunchey, College of Engineering & School of Information

Collaborator: Derrick Yeo, Lecturer III in Robotics, College of Engineering

The “High-Five” project is a pioneering endeavor that merges the realms of technology, art, and social engagement, embodying an interdisciplinary methodology. This venture aims to transform the campus environment by deploying interactive robotic hands that not only perform engaging gestures like fist bumps and high fives but also display uplifting messages.

The project’s core lies in its ability to intertwine the precision of robotics with the emotive power of art, creating installations that are technically innovative and emotionally captivating. Art is central to the “High-Five” initiative, transforming the robotic hands into more than just mechanical devices; they become interactive art installations that communicate warmth and encourage participation.

This project demonstrates how art can elevate technology from a mere tool to an engaging companion on campus, fostering interactions that are both meaningful and memorable. This collaborative effort between myself, a sophomore with a burgeoning passion for robotics, and my robotics professor, brings together a dynamic blend of fresh creativity and profound expertise. Our team, though small, is robust, combining diverse skills to tackle the interdisciplinary challenges inherent in blending technology with art.

Our timeline for realizing “High-Five” is structured with key milestones to ensure completion by June 2024:

Phase 1 (Design and Development): By March 2024, we will finalize the design and develop the first prototype of the robotic hand. This phase involves detailed planning and the initial integration of hardware and software components.  

Phase 2 (Software Integration and Testing): April 2024 will be dedicated to refining the gesture recognition software and conducting comprehensive testing to ensure reliable interactions.

Phase 3 (Final Assembly and Installation): In May 2024, we will assemble the final versions of the robotic hands and install them at strategic locations across campus, ensuring they are operational for community interaction.

Launch: By early June 2024, the “High-Five” installations will be fully functional, ready to engage the campus community just in time for the end of the academic year celebrations.

My role encompasses overseeing the project’s progression, from concept to execution, leveraging my skills in design and programming. Meanwhile, my professor will guide the technical direction and contribute expert knowledge to the project’s engineering challenges. The anticipated impact of “High-Five” on the campus and local community is profound.

By integrating technology with art in such an interactive manner, we aim to create a series of moments that not only entertain but also build a sense of belonging and collective joy. This installation promises to be a beacon of positivity, enhancing the campus atmosphere and fostering a more connected community.

Despite the project’s ambitious scope, the collaboration between my professor and me is founded on a shared vision and complementary skill sets. This partnership, characterized by my enthusiasm for robotics and innovation and my professor’s technical acumen, positions us uniquely to bring “High-Five” to life by the targeted completion date of June 2024.

Robot Fist Bump
Robot High Five
Robot Victory Sign