Maia Stiber

Senior • Computer Science • Caltech

Netflix Competition

D* and D*lite algorithms for robot navigation

Designing Implantable Vibration Harvesters



Advances in electronics, materials, and other fields have been leading to an increas- ing number of medical devices that are surgically implanted in patients. These devices are powered with batteries, typically implanted in the patient’s chest cavity, that are connected by wires running up to the device. With the battery pack and the wire inside the body comes considerable risk. The Choo lab seeks to minimize the risks of such devices by finding alternative methods for powering them from the body’s own natural activities, rather than by using batteries. We are researching possible sources of power that are generated by the body — the vibration of the larynx and the expansion of the chest when breathing. These harvesters were tested using an anatomical head model.


Mayank Goel, Elliot Saba, Maia Stiber, Eric Whitmire, Josh Fromm, Eric C. Larson, Gaetano Borriello, and Shwetak N. Patel, "SpiroCall: Measuring Lung Function over a Phone Call," CHI'16, May 07-12, 2016, San Jose, CA (Honorable Mention paper award.)


Cost and accessibility have impeded the adoption of spirometers (devices that measure lung function) outside clinical settings, especially in low-resource environments. Prior work, called SpiroSmart, used a smartphone’s built-in microphone as a spirometer. However, individuals in low- or middle-income countries do not typically have access to the latest smartphones. In this paper, we investigate how spirometry can be performed from any phone—using the standard telephony voice channel to transmit the sound of the spirometry effort. We also investigate how using a 3D printed vortex whistle can affect the accuracy of common spirometry measures and mitigate usability challenges. Our system, coined SpiroCall, was evaluated with 50 participants against two gold standard medical spirometers. We conclude that SpiroCall has an acceptable mean error with or without a whistle for performing spirometry, and advantages of each are discussed.


Target: This game is built with a framework developed by Prof. Kelvin Sung at the University of Washington Bothell. The framework was written for computer science teachers' use in introductory CS classes. It originally supported simple, vertical block breaker games. I tested the limits of what it could do by making a horizontal, multilevel game that can be modified by the user with a simple, text "level configuration" file. The games still has blocks to break, but you conquer a level by hitting a special target block.

You can download and play this game for free!

Battery Buggy

Battery Buggy: This was a battery powered vehicle that needed to follow a curved path (to avoid an obstacle — the bucket) and stop as close as possible to a target (the blue tape). No electronics were allowed — just an electric motor and mechanical parts. The target distance was announced at competition time.


Scrambler: This was a gravity powered vehicle propelled by a falling 2kg mass. It held a raw egg up front and needed to stop as close as possible to a target on a barrier wall without hitting the wall and breaking the egg.