Introducing, Morpheus. Your new, AI-enabled, narrator and guide to a new world of unlimited possibilities.

Named after the Matrix’s Morpheus, this one will immerse you into new worlds of unparalleled stories.


Interaction Design
Industrial Design


4 months—Sept 2023 to Jan 2024


Alexia Mathieu
Douglas Edric Stanley
Laure Krayenbühl
Pierre Rossel
Pablo Bellon

What is it?

Morpheus is an AI assistant that narrates stories to you while drawing.
Each day, you get one episode to draw and each episode is part of a series.

These stories are enabled by chips inside of pens or pencils where each pen has its own story, texture on paper and feeling in the hand.

Close up shot of the Morpheus device with pencils inside.
Frontal view of Morpheus.
A closeup of Morpheus's pen hole.
Frontal view of Morpheus with pens inside and a sun ray shining on it.
Aerial view of Morpheus floating in space.

Field Observation

It all began with the theme of daily stress, and drawing as an exercise to ease tension. I then became interested in drawing with eyes closed, where people surprised me with their outputs.

Subsequently, I tried influencing their drawing by commenting and expressing positive feedback, while at the same time indirectly giving them ideas that influenced their drawings.

But then, the idea of drawing eyes closed wasn’t that much important anymore, and the idea of storytelling and narrating a story was born. The results were so much interesting, with people feeling creative and inspired by stories, desperately waiting for endings.

Field Observation

Paper Prototypes

I went through lots of form factors such as a small rolling robot that gives you ideas on the run, a card selection machine, and even a ticket printer.
The first designs were a bit too technical, so I switched back to focusing more on simple interactions by designing a card selection board and finally a vertical pen holder.

Paper Prototypes

User Tests

People were always surprised to see their drawings at the end and found the experience really fun. The idea of narrating a story and each person imagining their suns, theirs animals, their trees, their cities, their people, etc. was also really interesting to see and hear.

The whole storytelling experience can be compared to a campfire, with people listening and eagerly waiting to know what happens to the characters in the story.

Shape Research

The final design of Morpheus is a vertical cylinder pen holder with the computer and speakers on the bottom part of the device. The top part is a simple hole where you can put you store your pens.

Shape Research and Sketches
Shape Research and Sketches
Shape Research and Sketches

The Interaction

The simplicity of the device comes to how you can interact with it. Simply lift the pen from Morpheus and the story starts. Put the pen back and the story stops.

Morpheus Prototype, M-01
Photography by Sylvain Leurent

A hand taking a pen from the Morpheus Device.

Where's the AI part?

Each time you turn on Morpheus, it’s going to generate a story based on pre-defined tags with a scenario, that Morpheus will detail and hallucinate about.

You could get a completely different story each time you go from one episode to the other. Even if you already started a series, what happens next is always generated.

The ending of the series for example might also be different and that’s where the beauty of Morpheus comes to. You’re not trapped into one linear story, but one that is very much alive.

Visualization of how episodes in series are constructed.
How episodes generation work.

Demo Photos

Demo Photos from January 2024.

Listen to the Demo's Generated Story

Here's how it works, for us geeks

1 Raspberry Pi 5 with Raspbian OS, running a Python script that launches on startup.

This Python script pauses and restarts the media player (VLC) playing an .mp3 file.

The goal was not to fully develop the project, but to test out the interaction experience and show how it could work.

- 1 Micro Switch /or/ 1 Optical Sensor

- 1 Adafruit I2S 3W Stereo Speaker Bonnet for Raspberry Pi
- 2 Small Speakers (each 40mm x 20mm x 8mm)

Electronics schematics for how the Morpheus Demo unit.

Here’s how the project could have worked

Running an LLM model on a Raspberry Pi is probably not that smart as the RPi is not a fast machine for this and people would wait minutes for their stories to be generated.

We’re currently in a pivotal moment, at the time of writing this, where computers can now process algorithms and LLMs locally without sending any data to the cloud, thanks to processors made specifically for that, Neural Processing Units (NPU), instead of heavily relaying on GPUs.

Running models locally is faster, secure and eco-friendly, and there exists multiple RPi alternatives with NPUs that could do the work, but they also have to be small enough to fit inside of Morpheus.

Finally, we also discussed with my teachers the multiple LLM models that I could use, but that again will depend on the computer that’s going to run it. We thought about Mistral’s 7B for example, or even training my own LLM.