For my final project I am creating a virtual assistant using a chatbot. The main aesthetic for the virtual assistant is a combination of cyberpunk technology and graffiti. My main focus is the enclosure for the hardware and having a well designed and polished final product.


1. Aesthetic

The biggest aspect of this project and class is the aesthetic and that will be one of my priorities. The Cyberpunk aesthetic has a lot of rigid aspects to it. Incorporating this in my design will help elevate the design and help it pop on my desk. Also adding the graffiti design and color will help tie the product together. I want this to look well designed but also look like it stood the test of time. Adding scuffs and making it looked like its used is something I am going to also include and focus on.

2. Design

Designing something that fits the aesthetic I want for this project and is well designed will be a challenge. I want the aesthetic to be the main focus and to achieve this the design of the enclosure need to be good. Rapid prototyping with 3D printing will help me get to the best iteration possible as fast as possible. I am also taking my time with sketching and ideation to have a well refined product before I start printing.

3. Screen animation

The different animations for the virtual assistant is a must for this project. It gives the virtual assistant some character and interactivity. I am working on having the LCD screen to change animate different expressions when it speaks. This will require different frames with various faces that will quickly change when the robot recognizes specific words.

4. Voice recognition 

A big part of the virtual assistant is ease of use. I would like for it to work with minimal interactivity. Activating the device with with voice commands would be ideal to be able to use it while I’m working on different things.

5. Size

I want the final product to be a good size. I would like it to sit on my desk and help me out with different projects and work. The enclosure for the virtual assistant needs to fit all the hardware necessary but still compact enough to not feel bulky.


1. Time

Time limitation with deadlines and other commitments are big constraints for this project. Dealing with my senior project and other projects I have, will be my biggest challenge.

2. Supplies

With rapid prototyping being a large part of this project, I may go through supplies quickly. A lot of the materials I am using need to be ordered online. This will cause delays and possible pauses to my development. The best thing I can do to limit this is to plan out as much as possible and be sparing with the use of all my materials. When testing something out, it will be very small. Just enough to get the information I need.

3. Money

Although I have a good idea of what the budget for this project will be, there are many different things I haven’t taken into consideration. I am still unsure how I am boing to get a well polished look on the enclosure, so I haven’t looked and the supplies need to accomplish this. Since I will be 3D printing the enclosure I need to smooth the surface. The materials for this and painting the enclosure may be pricey, increasing the cost even more.

4. Prototyping

Rapid prototyping can’t be rapid if I don’t have easy access to the tools I need. I am planning to 3D print the enclosure. Although that process can be relatively fast, I don’t have a personal 3D printer to test and fabricate different things. I do have access to different facilities on campus that have the necessary tools, but there will be limits and constraints to my use.

5. Skills

There are many different aspects for this project. Although I may have some experience with CAD and fabrication, I don’t have too much experience on creating a final well polished product from start to finish. I also don’t have painting and finishing skills. I feel like my weaknesses will start to show towards the end of the project. Finishing the product and having a well polished end result will be one of the most difficult parts.

Featured image:  Happy-Cube – Gareth Davies

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Efrosini Krokos
    April 8, 2024 11:37 am

    I like the look and idea, it’s very cyberpunky and the mockups look really cool. When it comes to voice activation would it be connected to something like Alexa or Google? So you have a backup plan in case?

  • Josh Sweeney
    April 3, 2024 10:45 pm

    Hi Alexis! The inspiration you used as the featured image is absolutely adorable and it reminds me to BMO from Adventure Time but, like, more edgy. Are you going to use the 3D printers in the Idea Forge? I usually have better luck with those than the ones in the ITLL. I do have a suggestion for creating a smooth surface on your 3D prints—use a filler like Bondo to create a smooth and sandable finish. I think Make Magazine has a good article on this. Hope this helps!


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