About Me

I am a researcher at Hasselt University, Belgium. I obtained my Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction in December 2016. In my research, I build novel tools and technologies that allow non-experts to take control over physical User Interfaces. In the past few years, advancements in technologies, such as 3D printing, conductive inkjet printers and IoT toolkits enable for computational changes in the living world similar to changes in digital interfaces. However, many users don't have expertise in programming, CAD environments or electronics to use these technologies.

The end-user development environments I invented, seamlessly integrate and (partially) automate the design, programming and electronic circuitry wiring process and support end-users from their initial idea until the final implementation of that idea. Examples include, PaperPulse which allows a layperson to fabricate new physical user interfaces by seamlessly augmenting thin-film substrates with electronic components. The RetroFab design tool on the other hand, assists in customizing existing physical user interfaces, such as appliances, using 3D printing and sensing technologies. These design tools go beyond the IoT vision of interconnecting devices and allow users to customize the appearance and behavior of physical interfaces on a fine-grained level. Besides, I also investigate technologies that allow for customizing physical interfaces in real-time using transformable and programmable materials. This track of research resulted technologies like the Paddle Phone.

This website provides an overview of the projects that I worked on. Feel free to contact me for additional information: raf.ramakers@gmail.com