Physical Computing
User research


DiPLab is an Interactive Multimodal Experience to involve Young People in learning about Antimicrobial Resistance
Project purpose
Delivery date
February 2023
Matteo Subet
Designer and Developer
DiPLab was my Master's Thesis project, I'm the only author. In fact, the whole job that was produced is completely done from me.
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AMR occurs when organisms no longer respond to treatments, making infections hard to cure. Superbugs could cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050. Scientific research is important, but citizens' active cooperation is crucial. This project aims to engage young people in the fight against AMR through an interactive experience to raise awareness.

/Interface and Interaction modalities

The experience is preceded by an introduction made from a Microbiologist or a tutor. Users are guided in the use of the DiPLab Petri by their smartphones, which progressively give instructions to them. After inserting the user’s name and the class code provided by the facilitator, the participant need to choose a bacteria as a base for the Petri. After the spreading, done tilting the product, is required to select the three antibiotics to then complete the Petri. Similarly to the previous interaction, the user now is required to shake the DiPLab Petri in order to randomly place the ABs tabs.
The digital Petri dish is now completed, the smartphone’s interface is now suggesting the two visualisations modalities: history and microscope mode.
Thanks to the first one is it possible to visualise the DiPLab Petri at 0h, 8h, 12h and 24h.
With the second is instead possible to zoom in inside the digital Petri with a 4x, 10x, 40x.
The last interaction is a recap of the experience where the information about bacteria and antibiotics used are displayed. The experience is saved into the DiPLab repository and the user can also share an image that represents the Petri done.

/User Experience

Thanks to the project high school students can experience the procedure of studying antibiotic resistance against bacteria without being in a laboratory.
The product has two main buttons (back / forward) and one switch button to turn on or off the product.
All the information are represented in the product’s display and the smartphone. In particular on the smartphone are displayed all the instructions for the usage of the product and on the DiPLab Petri are shown the results of the experiment.
The main interactions with the product are done with the use of the two main buttons and an accelerometer. In fact, the user as a first action with the product will tilt it and thanks to the accelerometer the system recognise in which direction is inclined; at the same time, when the user is asked to shake the DiPLab Petri the accelerometer check for any strange movement and detect when is shaken. The two buttons are used during the history/microscope phase in order to go next or previous in the timeline or zoom line.

/Research and Development Context
The context is actually Microbiology in general and specifically the issue of Antimicrobial Resistance.
Microbiology is one of the main areas of interest in studying the microorganisms that have been with us since the beginning.
Most of the resources related to the subject are hard to read and understand.
To better understand what is AMR here a quote from the World Health Organisation: “AMR comes when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change
over time and become unresponsive to drugs. The proliferation of superbugs that are no longer treatable by common antimicrobials such as antibiotics, is alarming.

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/Short Description of the Fabrication Process
The envelope for the Inkplate 6PLUS board is done thanks to the Prusa iM3KS and so using the technology of 3D Printing.
The material used is PETG in order to obtain a texture on the top of the product like an Orange Peel.
To assembly the product are used screws, in particular two to close the bottom part and other 4 to keep the PCB in the right place.

/Machine and Tools
Prusa iM3KS, Drill