Rotary Socket

Design a modular rotating power board that allows each module to rotate. This will offer enough space for different shaped plugs. Each socket could have different kinds of ports to electrical outlet plugs and users can increase or decrease the number of sockets. In addition, this is mounted between two standing bases on both ends to allow the rotation and to facilitate the wire organizing. The label attached to each unit can show which device is plugged in the exposition and avoid unplugging the wrong charger.


Sketching, Prototyping, Design, 3D modeling, and 3D printing.


Y. Hou and D. Azúa


3 weeks

My role

I collaborated in the sketching, prototyping, and 3D modeling. I was responsible for the 3D printing and model post-production.


University of Washington - Global Innovation Exchange 2020
Rotary Socket


The current socket boards are too close so there is an overlapping issue with large chargers and they are messy, its easy to unplug the wrong charger.

Our solution

Rotary SocketRotary Socket

Our Approach to Design

Rotary Socket


There were several sketches and models until we had 2D and 3D representations of the final prototype. Next, the computer-aided design and model was created for all the components of the device. Then, all the components were 3D printed and we checked tolerances and adjustment to then reprint them again if necessary. Finally, we post-processed the parts, sanding and painting.

Primary research

We interviewed a class instructor, a lab manager, and a student to understand how the current inventory management system works in the University of Washington laboratories. Then we created surveys for students and lab staff, to understand the manual process to manage the laboratory equipment and items. Also, we sent surveys to potential users, including users of labs, warehouse employees, and libraries administrators to obtain information related to potential features and concerns about interacting with robots.

User Testing

First, we did 1:1 User Evaluation to test the Hardware/Software and the check-in/check-out process. Participants performed a series of tasks under instruction by one of our team members. Notes and video recording were taken, six participants are involved in each round of the 1:1 evaluation. Then, we ran a Fly On The Wall session to observe the Human-Robot Interaction. We took notes of people’s behaviors when the mobile robot was navigating through the environment, without and with sound alerts. The robot received a series of navigation goals sent by the operator and it was up to the navigation stack to do the routing and planning. We observed users for 20 mins in the GIX laboratory. 

Functional Testing

First, we defined metrics for each part of the system. For the navigation, we sent a navigation goal to the Fetch and then we measured the success rate, time, distance from the nav goal, and the number of collisions. Next, for the Fetch and Kinova  grasping, we also measured the pick and place time and success rate. 

Secondary Research

We started researching about how many users have this issue and also for existing solutions and their limitations and challenges.


We used 3D printing as the fabrication process. We setted and monitored the printers and we used three different materials: ABS, PLA, and resin.
Rotary Socket
Rotary SocketRotary SocketRotary Socket

My takeaways

Working designing a device helped me to understand the whole process and how we need to iterate during the full process. Also I learned how to create low, medium, and high fidelity representations of a product or idea. Finally, I learned how 3D printing works and the limitations and challenges of this fabrication process.

Designing using emerging technologies in new and impactful ways.