The BEST Lab has three major theme areas. (1) The Berkeley Expert Systems Technologies (BEST) Lab addresses cutting edge research in applied Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems, Human-Computer Interaction and Design Informatics. (2) The Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Lab focuses on sustainable communities, sustainable product design, alternate energy and appropriate technologies. (3) The Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities (BEST) is a new collaboration on tensegrity soft robotics with NASA Ames.
The BEST Lab is located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of California at Berkeley under the direction of Professor Alice Agogino. The BEST has moved to its new design loft in the Mezzanine of Hesse Hall.
Larson-Juhl Sponsors Innovation Design Challenge at UC Berkeley's Innovation Through Design Thinking
Larson-Juhl sponsored a design tournament challenge in UC Berkeley's Innovation Through Design Thinking course in Fall 2013. The course is part of the MEng concentration in Product Design in Mechanical Engineering and the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.
The top two teams (Sports Fanatics and Mood Frames) had an opportunity to present their ideas to Larson-Juhl's executive management. Larson-Juhl is now moving forward with a modified version of the Sports Fanatics concept using NFC technology. They are sending out award certificates to each winning team member in June 2014.
To identify new opportunities in the picture framing industry, Larson-Juhl recently sponsored “Framing Innovation,” a Design Thinking challenge for students at University of California, Berkeley. Doug Rozenboom, Larson-Juhl’s senior vice-president, Global Merchandising & Product Development, sponsored a tournament in a graduate class titled “Innovation Through Design Thinking,” taught by Alice Agogino (Mechanical Engineering) and Alan Van Pelt (Design Strategy Consultant). The class was instructed to identify new innovation opportunities in the framing industry by studying potential new consumers and creating concepts to best reach them.
“At Larson-Juhl, we’re always looking to think outside of the frame, and working with the students of UC Berkeley was a great way for us to gain new innovative insights into our industry and the many possibilities of what is to come,” shares Rozenboom.
Six student teams researched specific customer segments, conducted interviews, built prototypes, and presented their ideas to Rozenboom and their professors. Judging the competition, Rozenboom selected the top two concepts. Those teams went on to present their innovative creations to Larson-Juhl’s executive team, which then selected the winning design team Sports Fanatics of Dizhou Lu, Toby Ricco, Logan Van Engelhoven, Chris Gotianun, and Hoseok Lee (photo above, left to right). The Runner-Up Mood Frames (Dian Dong, Katy Van Lieshout, Chen Zhuang and Theerapat Yangyuenthanasan) team's concept is also being considered for a new product.
Larson-Juhl will incorporate aspects of the winning team’s design concept into upcoming products. “We strive to find the next generation of products for customers. These students are tomorrow’s consumers, and collaborating with them gives us a great opportunity to accomplish our goal,” Rozenboom said.
At the end of May 2014, the Discovery Channel took footage and interviewed the tensegrity team for a feature on our Tensegrity Robotics Rapid Prototyping Kit.
BEST Labber Ann McKenna Named Director of the Fulton Schools of College of Technology & Innovation at ASU's Polytechnic Campus
Excerpt: "She has served as professor and chair of the department of Engineering and Computing Systems at the College of Technology and Innovation since 2012.“We are excited to welcome Ann to the Fulton Schools as school director on ASU’s Polytechnic campus,” said Paul Johnson, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “After an extensive search, Ann’s experience, her vision for the school, and the support she received from her colleagues proved to be a perfect combination of credentials for the role of school director.”“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the sixth school on ASU’s Polytechnic campus,” said McKenna. “The Fulton Schools are experiencing significant growth and our portfolio of program offerings is now one of the largest and most interdisciplinary in the country. I am excited to join the leadership team at the Fulton Schools as we continue to evolve and expand.”Beyond her role as school director, McKenna’s scholarly research includes the cognitive and social processes of design; the role of adaptive expertise in design thinking and innovation; and the mechanisms and policies that influence the impact and diffusion of educational innovations. She has twice been the recipient of the ASEE best overall paper award (1998 and 2011), as well as the recipient of the outstanding paper award from the IEEE/ASEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) conference (1997). Her work in the area of design education has been nationally recognized by being a best paper finalist for three consecutive years, 2009, 2010, and 2011 in the Design in Engineering Education Division of ASEE (winning the award in 2011). McKenna works across the disciplinary lines of engineering, education and design and has published in diverse disciplinary venues including Science, the Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Computer, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, and Teaching in Higher Education.Prior to joining ASU, McKenna served as a program officer for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Division of Undergraduate Education and was on the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University. She currently serves as a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education, the leading research journal in the field of engineering education.McKenna earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley."
BEST Lab and PPN project in the Berkeley Science Review, April 2014. Excerpt: "Reaping the benefits of modern technology while maintaining a traditional culture produces tension that can leave the consumer compromised. The work of the Agogino group and the Pomo Nation shows that a growing field of culturally sensitive engineering can relieve this tension. Modern advances have the potential to benefit everyone when a little more time is taken to understand and cater to the end user’s unique culture."
Berkeley's Design Fest is an open house event where UC Berkeley students will show and tell their current design projects. This open house event will showcase the diversity and magnitude of the design activity occurring in departments throughout Campus. This year Design Fest will take place over several days:
3 May 2014
As part of National Robotics Week, Silicon Valley Robotics at WilmerHale in Palo Alto hosted a Robot Block Party with "the most advanced robotics research in Silicon Valley, the hottest robot startups, the coolest robot companies and all the just plain fun robots you can imagine".Robots fly, swim and mow lawns at 'block party' (article from Palo Alto online, April 10, 2014). We collaborated with the Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field and demonstrated our "prototype robot based on a dynamically-controlled "tensegrity structure" -- a collection of rods connected and suspended by tensioned cables -- called "Tensegrity Bot."
Saddiq Nuru is a member of the Mercedes-Benz MEng Capstone team. He was this year’s student speaker for the graduate commencement ceremony. Originally from Botswana, Saddiq came to UC Berkeley for our Master of Engineering program at the Fung Institute. He hopes to spend his career developing engineering solutions that alleviate poverty.
Quote from the news article in Forefront:
Please congratuate BEST Labber Euiyoung Kim (photo left) and honorary BEST Labber Vivek Rao (photo right) for receiving the 2013-14 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards, sponsored by the GSI Teaching and Resource Center, in recognition of his exceptional achievements as a teacher. The GSI Teaching and Resource Center hosted a ceremony and reception in awardees honor from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Award recipients also received a monetary award sponsored by the Dean of the Graduate Division to applaud outstanding GSIs.