Cyborg Sense Augmentation - Educational Device Development

We will develop a wearable sensory augmentation device for Pitzer’s PHIL 185C (Philosophy of Cognitive Science: Perception), based on the NorthPaw ( This project is co-advised by Lucas Bang and Brian Kelley (Pitzer Philosophy & Cognitive Science). 

The NorthPaw is a wearable anklet that features small vibrating elements arranged in a circle around the ankle. Using an electronic compass, it is designed such that the vibrator element closest to magnetic north vibrates, giving the wearer a constant sense of magnetic direction. According to one of the NorthPaw developers, he “developed an unerring sense of direction” and that his brain “developed new mapping abilities”.  

We’d like to build at least two of these devices, so that students in Professor Keeley’s spring PHIL 185C course can make use of them. One significant theme of the course will be the cyborg augmentation and alteration of sensory capacities. 

The NorthPaw is no longer available for sale, but their website describes how to build the device. We are excited about our support from the Hive ( to build these devices.


What to include in your application: Let us know why this project appeals to you, if you have any special skills or experiences that would help the project succeed, if there are any skills you are really hoping to build, what you hope to get out of the project, and anything else you would like to share. 

Name of research group, project, or lab
Cyborg Sense Augmentation with Profs Bang and Keeley
Why join this research group or lab?

This is an exciting, fun, new, interdisciplinary project where you will work with several people with various backgrounds and also have a chance to contribute to the learning experiences of your peers! 

Logistics Information:
Project categories
Computer Science
Biomedical Engineering
Circuit Design
Engineering Education
Human-centered Design
Human-Computer Interaction
Mechanical Engineering
Teaching & Learning
Student ranks applicable
Student qualifications

We hope to build a highly interdisciplinary team with 3-4 students. Students with interest, enthusiasm, or experience in any of the following areas are encouraged to apply. If there is something on this list that you aren’t confident about, that is totally OK! Our goal is that we will build a group with diverse skill sets and that  through this project we will collectively develop interests and competence in these areas:

  • Neuroscience 
  • Computer science
  • Cognitive science
  • Philosophy of sense and perception
  • Real-time embedded programming
  • Microcontrollers 
  • Circuit design
  • Soldering 
  • Human-machine interfaces 
  • Cyborg theory 
Time commitment
Fall - Part Time
Academic Credit
Number of openings
Contact Information:
Lucas Bang
Computer Science Professor
Name of project director or principal investigator
Lucas Bang and Brian Keeley
Email address of project director or principal investigator
4 sp. | 16 appl.
Hours per week
Fall - Part Time
Project categories
Computer Science (+7)
Computer ScienceBiomedical EngineeringCircuit DesignEngineering EducationHuman-centered DesignHuman-Computer InteractionMechanical EngineeringTeaching & Learning