Mitchell Karchemsky

Industrial / Interaction Designer - UC Berkeley

Drill Sergeant

Woodworking tutorials are commonly used to gain proficiency with power tools. However, these tutorials' goals generally aim to assist users with constructing an end product, as opposed to developing their confidence and technique with tools. We present an ecosystem of smart tools which helps users gain confidence, develop technique, and construct woodworking projects by providing guidance and feedback through skill-building activities and macros of common building tasks. We demonstrate how such techniques are enabled by augmenting common workshop tools (drill/driver, saw) with measurement, state sensing, and visual feedback, and describe the design space of such augmentations. An evaluation with 17 novices shows greater improvement of some tacit skills when using augmented tools compared to unaugmented tools. We also validate the utility and flexibility of a smart tool ecosystem through reflections on a series of author-created design examples.

To read more, check out the published paper here: