Interactive Systems based on Electrical Muscle Stimulation (PhD Topic)

Interactive Systems based on EMS? (click to learn more)

proprioceptive interaction diagram

This new way of  interaction is especially suitable for wearables because it uses only our own body for both input and output and is eyes-free. It is based on the user’s proprioceptive sense, i.e., rather than seeing, hearing, or feeling an outside stimulus, users feel the pose of their own body. To pose the users body (output) our devices use electrical muscle stimulation, as it allows us to actuate with a minimal hardware footprint (mobile & wearable). For controlling the interaction users input by posing their body, which we read with different tracking methods (optical, accelerometer, etc). Here’s some examples of the work I have done on proprioceptive interaction / interactive EMS-based systems:

Publications (First-author, CHI & UIST)
  1. Providing Haptics to Walls and Other Heavy Objects in Virtual Reality by Means of Electrical Muscle Stimulation,  Pedro Lopes, Sijing You, Lung-Pan Cheng, Sebastian Marwecki and Patrick Baudisch CHI’17, Denver, USA. // paper  // video
  2. Muscle-Plotter: an Interactive System based on Electrical Muscle Stimulation that Produces Spatial Output Pedro Lopes, Doğa Yüksel, François Guimbretière and Patrick BaudischUIST’16Tokyo, Japan. // paper  // video // UIST Talk video 
  3. Impacto: Simulating Physical Impact by Combining Tactile Stimulation with Electrical Muscle Stimulation [best talk nominee] Pedro Lopes, Alexandra Ion and Patrick Baudisch UIST’15Charlotte, USA. // paper  // video // UIST Talk video 
  4. Affordance++: allowing objects to communicate dynamic use [best paper award] Pedro Lopes, Patrik Jonell and Patrick Baudisch CHI’15Seoul, Korea. // paper  // video // CHI Talk video 
  5. Proprioceptive Interaction [best talk award #3] Pedro Lopes, Alexandra Ion, Willie Mueller, Daniel Hoffmann, Patrik Jonell, and Patrick Baudisch CHI’15Seoul, Korea. // paper // video // CHI Talk video
  6. Muscle-propelled force feedback: bringing force feedback to mobile devices Pedro Lopes, and Patrick Baudisch CHI’13Paris, France. // paper // video // CHI talk video
  • openEMSstim: the UIST Student Competition on Electrical Muscle Stimulation  Pedro Lopes, UIST’16Tokyo, Japan. // code

invited talks & keynotes

  • Affordance++ & Proprioceptive Interaction
    at University of Tokyo, Japan.
  • Proprioceptive Interaction: interfaces that read & write to the body
    at NODE15 [talk & panel], Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Turns out that the next wearable interface is your own body!
    at Tech Open Air 2015, Berlin.
  • Wearables that read & write to the body
    at Re:publica 15, Berlin, Germany.
  • Playing games through our bodies
    at MuseumsQuartier SUBOTRON, Vienna, Austria
  • Biohacking and Brain Computer interfaces: the future of Human Computer Interaction
    at Campus Party 2012, Berlin, Germany. // video
  • Exploring Mobile Force-Feedback based on Electrical Muscle Stimulation
    at Technical University of Berlin’s Quality and Usability Lab Research Colloquium hosted by Katrin Wolf, Berlin, Germany.
  • Towards Bio-Interfaces: New Input/Output technologies for Human Computer Interaction 
    at Jortec 2013, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Body & mind controlled, “Artists & scientists: Push Boundaries!”
    at LEAP (Laboratory for Experimental Art and Performance), Berlin, Germany.
  • Muscle-propelled interfaces: interfaces that move you!
    at Academy Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany.

Conference Chairing

Editor, community, etc

  • Feature Editor of Special edition on Virtual reality, ACM XRDS Magazine
  • Digital Content Editor at ACM XRDS [2013-2017]
  • Student Volunteer at CHI’12 and Interact’11

Workshops (teaching)



HCI lectures (teaching)

  • Lecturing “muscle and brain-computer Interfaces” for HCI-Research [2012-2017]
  • Lecturing “audio input ” for HCI-Research [2012-2017]
  • In-class hacking on “dataflow programming & audio processing” for HCI2 [2012-2017]

interactive sketching & fabrication (co-authored)

  • Metamaterial Mechanisms,  Alex Ion, Frohnhofen, J., Alistar, M., Wall, L., Kovacs, R., Lindsay, J., Lopes, P., Chen, H.-T., and Baudisch, P., UIST’16Tokyo, Japan. paper // video
  • Interactive Construction: interactive fabrication of functional mechanical devices,  Stefanie MuellerPedro Lopes, and Patrick Baudisch UIST’12Boston, USA. paper // video // video of talk
  • Combining bimanual manipulation and pen-based input for 3D modelling,  Pedro Lopes,  Daniel Mendes, Bruno de AraújoJoaquim JorgeSBIM’11: Sketch-based Interface and Modelling, in cooperation with ACM SIGGRAPH and EUROGRAPHICS. paper // video
  • Hands-on interactive tabletop LEGO application, Daniel Mendes, Pedro Lopes, and  Alfredo Ferreira, 2011, ACE ’11: Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGCHI international conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, paper // video 

Force Feedback Haptic Interfaces (co-authored)

  • Gesture Output: Eyes-Free Output Using a Force Feedback Touch Surface, Anne Roudaut, Christoff Sterz, Andreas Rau, Max Plauth, Pedro Lopes and Patrick BaudischCHI’13 // paper // video 
  • Haptic Turk: a motion platform based on people, Lung-Pan Cheng, Patrick Lühne, Pedro Lopes and Patrick Baudisch, CHI’14 // paper // video 


touch acoustics & music

software tools and algorithms

  • Dynamic Time Warping for Pure Data,  Pedro Lopes,  Joaquim Jorge2011, PdCon’11: The 4th Conference on Pure Data // video
  • Click Tracker: Performance/composition tool for metrically complex scores, João Pais, Pedro Lopes, 2011, PdCon’11: The 4th Conference on Pure Data. Try the software. 
  • Trainable DTW-based classifier for recognizing feet-gesturesPedro Lopes, Guilherme Fernandes, Joaquim Jorge, 2010, RecPad: 16th Portuguese Conference on Pattern Recognition // video // paper// BibTeX

demos at HCI conferences

  • Muscle-Propelled Force Feedback: bringing force feedback to mobile devices (demo), Pedro Lopes and Patrick Baudisch // video 
    at CHI’13 + WH’13  (IEEE World Haptics Conference) + AH’13 (Augmented Human)
  • Gesture Output: Eyes-Free Output Using a Force Feedback Touch Surface (demo)Anne Roudaut, Christoff Sterz, Andreas Rau, Max Plauth, Pedro Lopes and Patrick Baudisch, at CHI’13  //  video
  • Constructable: interactive construction of functional mechanical devices (demo),  Stefanie Mueller, Pedro Lopes, Konstantin Kaefer,
    Bastian Kruck, and Patrick Baudisch
    at CHI’13 + TEI 2013, Barcelona, Spain.// video

articles on artistic practice

  • TranshumancePedro Lopes, 2010, Future Places – Digital Media and Local Cultures // proceedings  (pg. 169) // BibTeX
  • Pedro Lopes & Jef Chippewa  interview  bio-artists Marco Donnarumma, Peter Kirn & Claudia Robles @ LEAPCEC’ 2013 //  read it

PhD & MsC Thesis

  • PhD coming soon.
  • Mt-DJing: Multitouch DJing TablePedro Lopes, 2010, MSc Thesis, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa, Portugal // paper// BibTeX

CV [download, pdf]