Tag Archives: Akarsh Sanghi

This wearable device puts your teacher on your shoulder

Like a hawk-eyed professor, this project gives a much more literal meaning to “looking over your shoulder.”  

According to Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design student Akarsh Sanghi, the lack of a hands-on approach in distance learning may be what’s constraining the teaching method from reaching a state of mainstream popularity. While some have already begun to embrace the online course approach, others have been a bit more reluctant given the limited access to one-on-one guidance. Cognizant of this fact, the Maker has launched a project that could potentially transform your bedroom into a more real-time educational setting.


To do so, Sanghi has developed a wearable device that provides a mentor with instantaneous insight into a learner’s environment through the coupling of a first-person point of view and an instructional laser pointer — all controlled by a mobile app. This pairing of technology enables a mentor to communicate with a student via the device he calls Grasp as they offer step-by-step instruction through the pointer. Teachers can converse using a built-in speaker/microphone combo, while a digital joystick on the app to direct the laser. The process is driven by an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4).


“The idea was to learn new skills which are more physical in nature-like craftsmanship and require step-by-step instruction,” Sanghi tells The Creators Project. “In the 21st century when we are surrounded by digital devices and are occupied by a screen most of the time for every possible activity, I wanted to explore how can we break away from this cycle to learn something in a more organic and natural way.”

While the current version of the prototype may still be a bit bulky in size and comfort, the Maker hopes that Grasp could ultimately revolutionize f “on-demand learning.”


Want to learn more? You can head over to the project’s official page. Meanwhile, you may want to check out one of Sanghi’s other creations, The Sensing Umbrella.

This smart umbrella tracks air pollution

What if your umbrella could help protect the world from air pollution while it protected you from rain? Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design students Saurabh Datta, Akarsh Sanghi, and Simon Herzog recently debuted an umbrella capable of just that. Appropriately dubbed “Sensing Umbrella,” the smart device has the ability to collect air pollution data during a nice stroll through the park or en route to work.

In order to bring the project to life, the team collaborated with Arduino Co-Founder Massimo Banzi. Created in conjunction with Giorgio Olivero of ToDo Design, the smart umbrella equipped with an Arduino Yún (ATmega32u4 MCU) is tasked with measuring local carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide pollution levels.

According to Co.Design’s Carey Dunne, the umbrella then visualizes this data in real-time through a sparkling LED light display on its surface. “Firefly-like lights change their color and rhythm in response to local pollution levels, spreading awareness of the air quality to city dwellers,” Dunne explained.

“This timestamped and geolocated data gets uploaded to the Cloud–to pollution databases–to be analyzed.”

With the emergence of the latest and greatest ’smart’ designs, this is rare piece of tech that aspires to do greater social good than just quantify and improve our individual selves. “As designers, we wanted to embrace this ongoing revolution of ‘The Internet of Things’ with a clear mission: to actively care for the people who use these connected devices,” Maker Akarsh Sanghi tells Co.Design.

In the long term, the Institute of Interaction Design students hope to generate local maps of air pollution hosted on an openly available web-based platform. “This project is entirely based on open-source hardware and software,” Sanghi says. Though the team doesn’t plan to monetize the project or open a company based on the concept, they do hope to create a worldwide event, or movement, in which crowdsourcing data via umbrella turns every person in society into a node in a larger network.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the Sensing Umbrella’s official page here or watch it in action below.