Iris Rover

Map Interface Design
Iris is the first private lunar rover to be launched to the Moon in 2021. I am currently working on the Maps team as a user experience designer to build the teleoperation system that Carnegie Mellon University will be using to conduct science missions. The teleoperation system helps to remotely control the rover from Earth and the Map is a key feature for the team to plan, view, and execute mission plans.
Project Timeline
January 2020 - Present
My Contributions
Interface Design
Interaction Design
User Testing
Core Map Features That I Designed

Route editing through changing waypoints and circumnavigation.

Visualizing uncertainty margin of the current rover's position.

Visualizing the rover movement state.

Iterating designs through weekly feedback sessions with other designers and developers.

Editing Waypoints

As the rover is moving around, the team might discover new Points of Interests (such as rocks or other obstacles) and need to edit the segments of the route. Route segments are connected by waypoints. In order for the mission to go successfully, it is important to allow the operators to flexibly edit waypoints.

Editing Circumnavigation

One of the main goals of the science mission is to take pictures of Points of Interests (POIs) from multiple angles. The circumnavigation automates the process of plotting where the rover should take pictures on the Map. Therefore, editing circumnavigations is important to allow scientists to adjust how many pictures they want at specific POIs during the mission.

Uncertainty Visualizer

From conducting interviews with the cartographer who is in charge of planning routes, we discussed that it is important for the operator team to know how large the margin of error is of the rover's current location. For example, the larger the gray circle around the rover is, the larger need there is for the operator to localize. This means that the team must check that the rover is not too close to any obstacles or sitting in any shadows.

Rover Movement States

Currently, the planned route is shown as yellow segments. However, the team also needs to know where the rover is anticipated to be and after localizing, where the rover actually is. Therefore, through testing, we discovered that the best way to represent this information is through 2 visual cues: color and line strokes. The planned route is defined through a solid yellow 4px wide line. The anticipated route is defined through a solid pink 2px wide line. The localized route is defined through a dashed green 2px wide line.

User Testing Methods


Since there’s no accessible user base that we can test designs with, we hold virtual paper missions. The paper mission is a simulation of the science mission which is hooked to the command line.


We also test with the leads of each team by having the tester run through scenario prototypes to help us test our user flow.

Navigating the mission with different teams and stakeholders can get complicated. However, through communication channels such as our weekly all-hands meetings, dev-designer meetings, and maps design team meetings, we can more easily organize the flow of information and solve problems together.

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