An experimental project that is designed for provide a sense of companionship


A physical interface that is has a simple natural form but still naturally suggests its affordance.


Interaction Designer for Herman

Herman was designed and born in one month. As an interaction designer, I was collaborating with other designers to come up with a product that would help Chuck from the movie Cast Away.

Aside from ideating and brainstorming ideas with other designers, I was also responsible for project managing and the technology aspect of prototyping.

My work involved:

  • sketching
  • creating user research documents
  • facility brainstorming sessions
  • create visual documents for presentations
  • circuitry and prototyping
  • programming (Arduino)

Persona + Journey Framework

In order to help Chuck and identify some of the problems he encountered when he was stuck in the island, we had to know more about him and understand his struggles


" He was surviving on the island without much difficulty, but he was mentally unstable"


Chuck was stuck in the island for more than four years, he was in a huge emotional stress where he was lacking any form of social interactions. His best friend, Wilson, was a volleyball that he named when he first got on the island.


We looked at various types of tools that help social interaction disorders like autism.

Form (texture + Moodboard)

Since we were designing a companion for Chuck, we focused on organic shapes to create a sense of safety. We also explored and tested different types of materials because we wanted to material to feel smooth but durable.


Functions + Interactions

The challenge of designing functions for Herman is to create abstract interactions so Chuck would have endless possibilities to interpret them every time. We looked at the type of interactions that people mostly enjoy and recreate the whole experience through Herman.


Minimalistic Haptic Design

We also had the idea to mimic human characteristics to Herman by exploring the idea of using haptic feedback. We looked at multiple sensors and explored various types of outputs for Chuck to recreate a sense of human to human experience


Ideas & Implementation

By calculating the volume and pitch of the surroundings, Herman is able to estimate Chuck's emotions through his speech. Herman is also able to reply Chuck with different tones to conversate with Chuck and keep him accompany.



Herman is currently in my custody so please contact me if you want to learn more about him



© 2017 Ambrose Yau. All Rights Reserved.