Innovation Commons


IC Established with the CAST, the Innovations Commons combines a communal makerspace with a human and environmental tracking and analysis space. The communal makerspace is designed to encourage inventive exploration and rapid prototyping of human-system, human-environment interaction technologies. The human and environmental tracking and analysis space is aimed at supporting research into the understanding of variations in human states and behaviors that occur across short and long time scales. The lab is open to all interested users and offers the opportunity to experiment with environmental and wearable sensors within a user-hackable environment. Projects are sought that demonstrate technology and environment responses and/or adaptations to human-sensed data. Users are invited to work on their own projects and analyses within the fully-outfitted space, while benefiting from exposure to other creative minds and cutting-edge technologies.

Interested in the Innovation Commons?
POC: Alfred Yu, Margaret Duff
Established 2016

There are two design goals for the Innovation Commons:

IC Toys

  • Serve as an incubator for ideas and proving ground for innovative approaches to human interactions with and within the commons. This is inspired by the global maker movement, where individuals are empowered through community practice and accessible technology to explore science, engineering, and the arts through a hands-on approach. By providing users with the tools, social environment, and equipment to foster collaboration and knowledge development, the Innovation Commons will help turn ideas into new research projects and systems.

  • IC People

  • Offer a pervasively sensed environment that encourages a wide range of human behaviors, supporting the Human Variability Project among other research efforts. A key feature of the commons is high end computational resources and displays for analyzing human neural, physiological, and behavioral data, as well as environmental data (similar to those resources found in the MIND Lab) that are available to volunteers who are willing to work in a tracked environment. In this space, researchers have the opportunity to prototype data analytic approaches for understanding and modifying human behavior as well as perform other human-centric analyses. Embedded sensors and advanced wearable technologies will be freely available for interested users to quantify their own activity and health patterns.

    • To inspire users to explore creative solutions, the Innovation Commons features a variety of light machine tools, electronics fabrication stations, 3-D printing capabilities, high-powered workstations, and augmented/virtual reality headsets. Tracking resources include RFID, optical, and wireless sensor based tools for characterizing movement and body position. The Innovation Commons also has dedicated analysis workstations with connectivity to a 50+ node (1000+ core) computational cluster for big data analysis, with common analysis and visualization packages readily available (MATLAB, R, Paraview, etc.).

      Additionally the commons has a modest budget to continually add equipment and resources per the request of the laboratory users.