Drill Sergeant Authentication System

Hardware and Industrial Design

Drill Sergeant enables new makers to build confidence through self-guided interactive physical feedback driven tutorials.

Mitchell Karchemsky
Michelle Nguyen
Eldon Schoop
Valkyrie Savage
Björn Hartmann
Sean Follmer

My Role
Systems Analysis
User Interface Design
User Research
Product Design
Electronics Design

Industrial Design
Electronics Design


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. 

You can read the full paper here

Teaching Experience

Courses and Mentorship

Critical Practices

Teaching Assistant

A hands-on, studio design course where students work at the intersection of technological innovation and socially engaged art.

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Design Innovation 22

Teaching Assistant

This introductory design course teaches concepts, skills, and methods required to design, prototype, and fabricate physical objects.

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Invention Lab

Technical Design Mentor

The Invention Lab is a UC Berkeley makerspace focused on helping students, researchers, and faculty to make embedded systems inventions.

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Case Studies

Selected Works


Better Embedded Systems Debugging

Berkeley Institute of Design. How do we better instrument embedded systems for combined software and hardware debugging?

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How can we make firefighters safer?

Technology startup focused on creating a safer more effective workforce for firefighters through the use of on-person telemetry units.

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How do we create music we can feel?

Collaboration with Meyer Sound, The Berkeley Center for New Media, and Artist Tarek Atoui. How do we create music for the hearing impaired?

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Hardware and Industrial Design

The MakerPass Authentication system allows for Maker-spaces to grant access to privilaged members in a low-cost, easy to implement solution.

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Doom Sense

How can we feel information?

An experiment in haptic feedback modalities and sensory extension. We improved the performance of a player by delivering curated contextual information

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Drill Sergeant

Hardware and Industrial Design

Berkeley Institute of Design. Drill Sergeant enables new makers to build confidence through self-guided interactive physical feedback driven tutorials.

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