Demo Hour

Umati: The Crowdsourcing Vending Machine

Issue: XIX.6 November + December 2012
Page: 6
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Kurtis Heimeri, Brian Gawalt, Kuang Chen, Tapan Parikh, and Bjorn Hartmann

Umati is a crowdsourcing vending machine. Instead of inserting money into the machine to pay for snacks, users complete crowdsourcing tasks on an integrated touchscreen. Umati allows us to target specific communities who don't traditionally participate in crowd work with tasks suited to their skills and knowledge. We also target these communities with rewards that suit them and in locations where they have cognitive surplus. We deployed Umati at UC Berkeley and found we were able to cheaply crowdsource the grading of computer science exams, a task that cannot be accomplished on Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Project website:

Publication: Heimerl, K., Gawalt, B., Chen, K., Parikh, T., and Hartmann, B. Communitysourcing: Engaging local crowds to perform expert work via physical kiosks. Proc. of CHI 2012. ACM, New York, 2207–2210.

Kurtis Heimerl
UC Berkeley | [email protected]

Brian Gawalt
UC Berkeley | [email protected]

Kuang Chen
UC Berkeley | [email protected]

Tapan Parikh
UC Berkeley | [email protected]

Björn Hartmann
UC Berkeley | [email protected]