Living things in nature have long been utilizing the ability to “heal” their wounds on the soft bodies to survive in the outer environment. In order to impart this self-healing property to our daily life interface, we propose Self-healing UI, a soft-bodied interface that can intrinsically self-heal damages without external stimuli or glue. The key material to achieving Self-healing UI is MWCNTs-PBS, a composite material of a self-healing polymer polyborosiloxane (PBS) and a filler material multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), which retains mechanical and electrical self-healability. We developed a hybrid model that combines PBS, MWCNTs-PBS, and other common soft materials including fabric and silicone to build interface devices with self-healing, sensing, and actuation capability. These devices were implemented by layer-by-layer stacking fabrication without glue or any post-processing, by leveraging the materials’ inherent self-healing property between two layers. We then demonstrated sensing primitives and interactive applications that extend the design space of shape-changing interfaces with their ability to transform, conform, reconfigure, heal, and fuse, which we believe can enrich the toolbox of human-computer interaction (HCI).
Koya Narumi, Fang Qin, Siyuan Liu, Huai-Yu Cheng, Jianzhe Gu, Yoshihiro Kawahara, Mohammad Islam, and Lining Yao. 2019. Self-healing UI: Mechanically and Electrically Self-healing Materials for Sensing and Actuation Interfaces. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST ’19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 293-306. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3332165.3347901