Hardware IxD



An autonomous screening pod service for urban aviation stations.

Robotics Design Studio (by Prof. Yong-Gyun Ghim), University of Cincinnati, Sep-Dec 2021 (13 weeks);

Co-desgined with Gift Mayambi, Caroline Leyes;

Major roles: Service and Interior Design


Passenger Experience Enhancement in Urban Air Mobility Settings

The traditional process, including check-in, security screening and navigation in the airport, often take at least 20-30 minutes. In the new UAM settings, users will not tolerate such a lengthy process when the flight is even shorter. Thus, reducing the user friction by streamlining the preboarding process is crucial to facilitate user adoption of UAM in 2035.


Autonomous Screening Pod Service

The proposal is to connect the processes of check-in, security screening and indoor navigation to make an automated system. The system reduce potential "chokepoints" that slow down or stop users in the traditional process by integrating upcoming security screening technologies.



The video quality was reduced due to limited rendering time and power in Keyshot.



Kiosk and touchscreen UI
Autonomous pod interior interaction designs

"Take me to the next!"

Pouring Sounds


Trend Forecast

The design starts with a forecast on future megacities like Tokyo, Shanghai, and Los Angeles.

As a team, we looked at STEEP (social, technical, economic, ecological, and political) factors to forecast a future when megacities employ air taxis as a solution to tackle traffic issues. From there, we reflected the entire boarding process to make a conclusion:

System Analysis

Once the design topic is confirmed, the team researched and analyzed the security check workflows of both the passenger and TSA officers. By mapping the workflow to the system components like CAT scanner, metal detector and conveyor belt system, the team was able to identify major user painpoints.


The idea generation phase starts with group brainstorming. In the end, the team focused on two major concepts:

  1. A mobile robot that carries luggage for the passenger, with an improved conveyor system;
  2. A private pod where security check can take place more efficiently.

During the brainstorming process, the team switched the focus to the entire process from checking in to arriving at the boarding gate. The concepts of the mobile robot and the stationary pod were combined to create the new direction: an autonomous screening pod.


The team utilized several prototyping methods to iterate the concepts - such as physical prototyping, virtual reality ideation and simulation (Gravity Sketch) and human factor analysis in Adobe Illustrator.

Evaluation through user testing

Left: Prototyping in Virtual Reality;
Right: analyze space with accurate human factor metrics

Sketches on form factors


Rendered in Keyshot


Systematic thinking in service design

Services are often comprised of various touchpoints and interactions. Systematic thinking encouraged us to consider the entire customer journey, ensuring that every touchpoint aligns with the overall service vision.

Rapid prototyping using creative methods

Traditionally physical models should be made to facilitate the iterative process. With large-scale design like this project, creatively using Virtual Reality led to more iterations of the product without wasting time on multiple physical mockups.

Thinking outside of the box

Although the studio was intended for a robotics system design, we jumped out of the "definition zone" by prioritizing user needs first. We realized that making an autonomous vehicle, which we thought as a mobile robot that carried passengers, provided a better use experience.

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