campus safety system
The future of campus safety
In this project, designers Aiden Wishart, Maddie Gerding, and I attempt to create the future of campus safety by utilizing technological advancements in robotics as part of this highly-advanced system. Scroll further to see our insights and design process.
For a quick overview of the entire concept, view our project summary on YouTube:
College campuses can be prone to high crime rates, especially at night. While many campuses have some solutions in place, students are often apprehensive about contacting strangers for assistance or do not want to wait long periods of time for late-night shuttle services.
Our team's solution is a robotic escort that acts as a guide for users who feel unsafe walking alone.
This device will primarily be used on college campuses (and closely surrounding areas) to enhance student safety at night. This device can reduce anxiety for college students walking alone at late hours, and can reduce the crime rates in the location of use.
In recent years, there has been a major focus on student safety as campus crime has been on the rise. There have been several accounts of burglary, hazing, sexual assault, and more. This has led to some innovation in personal protection, but not as much in campus-wide safety.
This robotic system is built to maneuver across college campuses. Our team selected to study the University of Cincinnati for this project, as it is one example of a college campus with high crime rates in surrounding areas. This area also includes many hills, stairs, and difficult terrain that an autonomous robot would need to traverse.
Tyler // Clifton Police Officer
In our interview, we received very positive feedback for the initial concept. Tyler believed that this solution could largely prevent nighttime student robberies and would provide additional protection for students who may find themselves in danger. He noted that lighting elements on the robot were very important, as most robberies and assaults occur in dim or unlit areas. However, lights on this robot could not directly imitate those of a police vehicle due to certain laws. Also, if valuable items are not easily accessible, it reduces the level of risk significantly.
Initial System Design
Ideation and Refinement
In early stages of testing, our team considered the height of the user in relation to the robot, the visibility and comfort of the primary screen interface, and received general comments on the overall experience of using the robotic system. In our research, we tested a variety of users and collected all relevant feedback to help guide our design process.
Feedback from Testing
The overall size of the robot was comfortable for all users tested, varying from below-average heights to above-average heights.
The motion of removing one's backpack and placing it into the storage compartment was comfortable for all users tested.
The primary screen was clearly visible, and the angle of one's hand while using the interface was also comfortable.
The treads at the base needed to be moved underneath the robot -- otherwise, it feels to wide at the base.