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  • McKechnie Family LIFE Home Welcomes First Full-Time Resident - Stretch by Hello Robot!

    The McKechnie Family LIFE Home is thrilled to announce that we have received our first robot to be used in research and development tasks around the home.  Stretch is a novel research robot that was developed by Hello Robot.   Stretch will Interact with people using a low mass, contact-sensitive body, work in clutter with a compact footprint and a slender manipulator, remain mobile, only weighing 51 lbs, and assist in vital research and development activities around the LIFE Home.  

    Pictured below is the unboxing day for the Stretch robot where members of the McKechnie Family LIFE Home team as well as those working on human-robot interaction research were learning more about the functionality of Stretch and taking it through some trial activities.  

    For more information on this exciting robot, please visit their website at




  • Camera and AV Installation Begins!

    The AV team has been hard at work in the McKechnie Family LIFE home finalizing locations for the cameras/mics and has begun installing in some locations.  The McKechnie Family LIFE Home will be equipped with cutting-edge cameras and microphones allowing for researchers to never miss a moment of their research participants' experience within the facility.  


  • Furniture Installation (Almost) Complete!

    As of Monday, July 6th, the McKechnie Family LIFE home is now almost completely furnished!   This is a particularly exciting milestone as the LIFE Home team has been working with our partners at Stocks Furniture for over a year on the careful selection of the furniture to be accessible, modern, and within the LIFE Home aesthetic.   

    Soon, we will have photos of the interior to show but in the meantime, a hint.   Our aesthetic is very "Loyal To You, Illinois" with features of Orange, Blue, and White.  

    Next Steps -- Outdoor furnishings and installation of the AV systems within the facility!



  • LIFE Home Furnishings Delivered

    The McKechnie Family LIFE Home is now (mostly) furnished!   The team converged on two dates to receive shipments of the bulk of the furniture and worked with our partners at Stocks Furniture to accommodate the delivery and installation.   The renderings of the LIFE Home are now coming to LIFE and the facility is nearing total completion.   The LIFE Home team is thrilled to forge on through this summer and prepare for the fall academic semester to hopefully begin providing service. 



  • LIFE Home Planning Continues Despite Shelter-at-Home Order

    Though the LIFE Home Team has been meeting almost exclusively virtually, planning has not stopped for the cutting edge McKechnie Family LIFE Home research facility.  This time away from the office has allowed for the team to finalize operational details that will provide a superior customer experience for researchers using the space.  

    The team did have the opportunity to enter the facility for some required measurements and to complete some in-person discussions.   Of course, everyone was distanced and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure safety! 




  • McKechnie Family LIFE Home Team Plans Dedication Ceremony

    The McKechnie Family LIFE home team is working diligently planning the dedication ceremony which will officially signify the opening of the research facility.  This event will provide invited guests an opportunity to tour the facility as well as meet with students and researchers demonstrating some research examples that could take place in the different spaces.   


  • LIFE Home Featured in Radio Story

    LIFE Home Director, Wendy Rogers, was given the opportunity to sit down with News Gazette reporter Tim Ditman and discuss the LIFE Home project as well as future plans for the use of the facility.    Please find the link below:

    News Gazette - New UI Research Facility Aims to Craft Next Smart Home

  • LIFE Home Team Making Plans to Begin Open Houses

    As the LIFE Home is now virtually complete, the team is now in the process of beginning to plan for the use of the space.   One element of this will be opening the space to potential collaborators so that they are able to see what the space can be used for.   During these visits, the attendees will be able to walk through the space with a member of the LIFE Home team and be told about the various capabilities that this cutting edge research facility will offer. 


  • Finishing Touches Almost Complete in LIFE Home

    As we enter into February 2020, the LIFE home team is meeting more frequently to prepare for the furniture and AV installations within the research space.   The construction crews are moving things out and the team is now able to see what the finished space will look like when we are handed access to the LIFE home.  

    In these pictures, you will see that the space is primed and ready for some modern furniture and top of the line AV outfits.  




  • Construction Nears Completion in LIFE Home

    As we approach the end of the first month of 2020, we see the construction crew is beginning to clean things up and pack up their equipment to take with them.    Soon, the LIFE Home team will be given access to the facility as construction is nearly complete!   


    Everyone involved is excited to hit the ground running and can't wait to begin working with researchers and collaborators in this cutting-edge research space.