Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Interested in Participating in a Study?

The SPIN Lab regularly has ongoing studies that are seeking participants. 




The Sensory, Perception, and Interaction (SPIN) Research Group in the UBC Dept. of Computer Science is looking for participants for a study investigating the sensing, design, and interpretation of emotive interactions with a small robot. You will be compensated $15/hr for your participation. We will ask you to interact with a stationary and/or moving small zoomorphic robot prototype. Before the study, we will ask you to complete a screening questionnaire. During the study, we will record your bio-signals (heart rate, breathing rate, etc.) and ask you to describe the motions and perceived emotional content from such interaction and/or ask you to talk about your experiences with animals and pets and your process for emotion regulation. Your interactions may be video recorded given your consent. This study is part of a graduate student research project.

Please contact us at the email: pv AT student DOT ubc DOT ca to sign up for the study.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Date Range: 14 June - 27th June 2024

Compensation: $15/hr

Investigators: Karon MacLean, Preeti Vyas, and Bereket Guta.

Questions? Contact: pv AT student DOT ubc DOT ca



Tactile Comfort Objects 

We are looking for participants for a survey investigating the preferences, features, design, and interpretation of personal comfort and/or other household objects used by participants for their emotion regulation. You will be compensated $10 for your participation in the survey (30-minute commitment) via Amazon Gift Card. You must have a current or past comfort object to be eligible to participate in this survey. We are looking to recruit from a diverse adult population (18 years of age or older) within Canada.

We may ask you to identify and talk about your experiences with personal comfort objects. We may also ask you to describe perceived emotional content, and the physical and interactive qualities of said objects and/or ask you to talk about your experiences using such objects.

To participate, click here

Date Range: Feb 2024 - ongoing

Compensation: $10 for 30 minute online survey

Investigators: Karon MacLean, Preeti Vyas, Rubia Guerra, and Bereket Guta.

Questions? Contact: spin-studies AT cs DOT ubc DOT ca


Effect of Haptic Motion on Biofeedback in online Collaboration

In recent years, we've been working together online more than ever before. To understand how online collaboration might be facilitated, we are looking for people who are available to solve problems collaboratively! If you like problem solving (or even if you don't!), how about letting us measure your biosignals while you work with someone on a problem online -- it might even be fun (: Fill out this screening questionnaire and we will get in contact with you. 

Note: this study will be conducted on site and in person.

Date Range: September 1, 2022 - ongoing

Compensation: $15 for a 1 hour session

Investigators: Karon MacLean, Yuna Watanabe, Laura Cang, Devyani McLaren, Preeti Vyas, and Rubia Guerra

Questions? Contact: cang AT cs DOT ubc DOT ca 


User-centered design for caregivers

The challenges with communication between those who care for Children Living with Health Complexities is well documented and reported by both parents and medical professionals. This leads to a burden on families who need to repeat their story many times, have limited access to their child’s data, and need to manage a high volume of historical health records.
In this study we hope to understand how caregivers manage their child’s health records as well as identify their needs for a digital solution. The study will involve an hour of informal interviews with the participants remotely. The questions will aim to understand how participants access and manage their child’s personal health records.
More information:

Participants: Parents or caregivers of children with medical complexity

Date Range: September 5,2021-November 5, 2021

Compensation: $15 for a 1 hour session

Investigators: Karon MacLean, Liisa Holsti, Kattie Sepehri

Contact: ksepehri AT cs DOT ubc DOT ca (edited) 


Interactive Affect Models

To understand how to build personalized emotion profiles of interactive events, we are collecting electroencephalography (EEG) data during video gameplay. Do you tend to feel emotionally invested while playing video games? We'd like to measure your brain waves while you do it!

Date Range: June 1, 2018 - August 15, 2018

Compensation: $40 for a 2.5-hr session

Investigators: Anushka Agrawal, Laura Rodgers, Hailey Mah, Paul Bucci, Laura Cang, Karon MacLean (PI)

Contact: nushka93 AT cs DOT ubc DOT ca



Designing and describing affective vibrotactile stimuli


The SPIN research group at the UBC Dept of Computer Science is looking for participants for a study on designing and describing vibration patterns for a handheld or wristband device. 

Date Range: July 25, 2016 - August 31, 2016

Compensation: $15 for a 1hr session

Investigators: Hasti Seifi, Matthew Chun, Salma Kashani, Karon MacLean (PI)


Social Touch Gestures on Flexible Fabric Sensors

To enable meaningful touch interactions on our affective robots, the CuddleBits and CuddleBot, we clothe each form with a fabric sensor. We are gathering social touch gesture data and we need your help!

Date Range: May 9, 2016 - May 31, 2016

Compensation: $10 for a 1hr session

Investigators: Alicia Woodside, Paul Bucci, Laura Cang, Karon MacLean (PI)


Affective Robot Behaviour Design

Think you can create believable robot emotional behaviour?  

Date Range: May 9, 2016 - May 31, 2016

Compensation: $10 for a 1hr session

Investigators: Lucia Tseng, Paul Bucci, Laura Cang, Karon MacLean (PI)