Peer Review

Reviewer: Gia Marino

Soft Electrohydraulic Actuators for Origami Inspired Shape-Changing Interfaces

Purnendu, Eric Acome, Christoph Keplinger, Mark D Gross, Carson Bruns, and Daniel Leithinger. 2021. Soft Electrohydraulic Actuators for Origami Inspired Shape-Changing Interfaces. In Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 377, 1–6.

  1. Do you have any conflict of interest in reviewing this paper? A “conflict of interest” is defined as follows:
    1. Ph.D. thesis advisor or adviseePostdoctoral advisor or adviseeCollaborators or co-authors for the past 48 monthsAny other individual or institution with which the investigator has financial ties
    Yes/no. If yes, please disqualify yourself instead of proceeding. No
  2. Expertise. Provide your expertise in the topic area of this paper.
    • 4 – Expert3 – Knowledgeable2 – Passing Knowledge1 – No Knowledge
  1. Summary. Please summarize what you believe are the paper’s main contributions to the field of soft robotics.Please write a short paragraph. 

This paper talks about electrohydraulic actuators and shows their application to HCI to bring a new medium to user-centered design practices. They go through all the characteristics and pros/cons of these actuators, and how to make them which makes it easier to design and makes the application more outsider friendly. Then the paper then talks about many applications, thus showing the importance of this research for shape-changing interfaces.

  1. Strengths and Weaknesses. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of this work? Does the paper have strengths in originality and novelty?Please write a short paragraph. 

I think this paper seems pretty novel. It sounds like there is not a lot of exploration into new types of actuation in the realm of HCI and design applications. I think the main strength of this article was the emphasis on making it accessible for application reasons. The article even lays out exactly how the actuator is built. The paper also did well with not too much jargon of technical info, and when it was brought it up it was throughly explained. The weakness is I think it would be good to hear more about possible applications in HCI. I think that part was more breezed over compared to related works and building. This is think is especially important since this is a big emphasis of the paper.

  1. Soundness. Are the ideas, algorithms, results or studies technologically/methodologically sound?Please write a short paragraph arguing for the strengths and weaknesses of the work. 

The technical parts seemed thorough and had good reports on numbers like the voltage, watts, and amounts of materials. It was very doable to follow along as a novice in this field. This paper makes it so that anyone with a reasonable understanding of basic physics can follow along.

  1. Related Work. Does the paper adequately describe related and prior work?Please write a sentence or short paragraph. 

I think the paper does a pretty decent of talk about related wok since the mention how they looked into electroactive polymers, pneumatic actuation, and electrohydraulic actuators. However, I would’ve like to have heard more about the application of the other actuation methods in HCI currently. This is because the main concern of this paper was the application of this actuation to design practice, specifically HCI. Therefore, I think it would’ve been beneficial to hear more of the related works related to the HCI design area in this field of knowledge.

  1. Presentation. Is the paper well organized, well written and clearly presented?Please write a sentence or short paragraph. 

I think the paper was very clear and clearly made the effort for it to be readable and scannable. Each section was broken up into digestible amounts. I am not sure if the related works should’ve been the bulk of the paper. Also, there doesn’t need to be a two-sentence intro under just related works, I felt that was unnecessary blocking. Otherwise, everything was labeled in a clear and concise way making it easy to read and also look back at to reference.

  1. Suggestions. Do you have suggestions for improving this paper?Please write several paragraphs detailing specific points of the paper which merit reconsideration. Be sure to address the text, figures and tables, mathematics, and grammar and spelling. 

As I said earlier, more work needs to be done so that the paper follows the abstract better. I feel like the abstract promises a lot more than is given. More explanation of the applications and origami. I feel like the origami was very much breezed over when related works were thorough. I think the abstract is interesting and is what makes to paper novel, thus adding more is applications would add a lot to this paper.

  1. Comments to Committee (Hidden from authors). Does the paper have enough originality and importance to merit publication? Is the paper relevant to the field? These comments will NOT be sent to the authors:Please write one or more paragraphs as needed to justify your review judgement. 

yes and yes. I think making actuators more accessible to designers and makers is not always done in fields like robotics. Thus, with the revisions and add-ons described. I think this paper could contribute a lot. At its current state, it is a little bit more of a review and more about the making and fabrication, which is less novel to the field to my understanding. Overall, the paper is very relevant to soft robotics since it talks about actuators in soft materials, and it too could be very relevant to HCI since it talks about morphing interfaces for communication purposes.

  1. Overall Rating. Provide your overall rating of the paper (5 is best)
    • 5 – Definite accept: I would argue strongly for accepting this paper.
    • 4 – Probably accept: I would argue for accepting this paper.
    • 3 – Borderline: Overall I would not argue for accepting this paper.
    • 2 – Probably reject: I would argue for rejecting this paper.
    • 1 – Definite reject: I would argue strongly for rejecting this paper.

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