Come Visit Us!! On Monday, April 23 at 6PM we will be exhibiting the Kobayashi Lab’s Call Sensing Device concept for animal wearables at the 2018 Human Computer Interaction conference in Montreal

The animal Call Sensing Device explores the use of power-saving components in animal wearables designed to monitor radiation around the exclusion zone 11KM around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

The challenges of monitoring animals living in the exclusion zone include designing power-saving components, autonomous shared networks, and the methods to transmit data to our base camp. To address these challenges, our human computer biosphere interaction (HCBI) design research team is studying devices that respond to animal calls. HCBI design research requires technologists and scientists to work together to observe animals and then design devices that respond to their behavior and calls. The HCBI storyboard below demonstrates how the animal call sensing device works within a deer herd living in the exclusion zone. 



The Kobayashi Lab conducts human computer biosphere interaction (HCBI) design research to enhance environmental health monitoring. Since 2011, Dr. Hill H. Kobayashi has monitored the exclusion zone 11km around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. This research has informed new parameters for monitoring the biosphere after a catastrophic disaster. In collaboration with earth and animal scientists the lab uses exploratory methods to HCI interventions for animal wearables and ubiquitous sensors that use sophisticated power-saving and information-processing methods to transfer data.


Human computer biosphere interaction is based on the Tsunagari communication concept, developed to foster a sense of closeness between family members living outside of the household in Japan (Itoh, Miyajima & Watanabe, 2002). The Family Planter is a specific application within the Tsunagari system which allows family members to exchange non-verbal cues over a network. HCBI is an adaptation of the Family Planter application and enables non-linguistic and non-verbal interactions among humans and different species (plants & animals) over physical distance.

HCI is a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and the study of major phenomena surrounding them (Hewett et al., 1992). The Kobayashi Lab’s research aim is to extend HCI and human computer pet interaction (HCPI) to explore human computer biosphere interaction (Kobayashi, 2012). The conceptual relationships between HCI, HCPI, and HCBI are illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Human Computer Biosphere Interaction (HCBI) © 2018 Kobayashi Lab
Center for Spatial Information Science, The University of Tokyo, Chiba, Japan

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