Yo–Yo Machines

Yo–Yo Machines are low-cost playful communication devices that you can make yourself. They are designed to allow physically separated people to trade nonverbal, expressive signals across the Internet. There are four basic designs: Light Touch sends a coloured light, Speed Dial displays a message on a dial display, Knock Knock delivers a physical knock or tap, and Flutter By shows remotely sensed movement. Inspired by twenty-five years of work from academic and commercial designers and researchers, the project makes expressive communication devices accessible to a wide public.  Hundreds of people have built Yo-Yo Machines, often making a pair of devices and sending one to a friend or loved one to stay in touch.

Click here to launch the Yo-Yo Machines external website or here for a conference paper about the project.

Date: 2021

A photograph of a collection Yo-Yo Machines devices, including two Speed Dials, two Light Touches, and a Knock Knock.
A photograph of the Moon Plate version of the Light Touch
A photograph of the Speed Dial and Speed Dial Mini
A photograph of a collection of components, materials and tools required to build the Speed Dial
A photograph of a hand tapping on the Knock Knock