field lab Cities of Things Lab010 update

Update Cities of Things LAB010

This update was sent earlier in a slightly different form (and in Dutch) to the partners and participants in the LAB010 project. Read more on the backgrounds of this Cities of Things field lab project here.

The Cities of Things Lab010 project has been running for a year now since its kick-off on February 16, 2022 at Gemaal op Zuid. It has been a busy year for everyone, and also for our project. In this update, I’d like to bring you up to date on the progress and plans for the rest of the project.

Project milestones:

  • On February 16, 2022, we organized the official kick-off at Gemaal op Zuid together with partner Wijkcorporatie Afrikaanderwijk, and in addition to Hogeschool Rotterdam, Studio van de Stad is also present.
  • Graduate student Démie van Bentveld developed a first version of the toolkit and is doing a lot of research in the Afrikaanderwijk.
  • The first group of Technical Computer Science students are working on a way to make the Wijkbot look around and control it via RobotOS.
The team of TI students presents halfway through the project
  • At the hackathon at IoT Rotterdam on April 9, we tested the first version of the Wijkbot prototype kit. At the VONK (Innovation Center Rotterdam), four teams with a mix of students and professionals are developing concepts, using the kit to quickly create prototypes and test them out in the city.
The winners of the hackathon
  • The hackathon will be repeated on a smaller scale at the anniversary of Stadslab 010 on June 2.
  • On June 3, we organized the first think tank session with seven residents from Afrikaanderwijk and partners of the project. We introduce the project and hold a first brainstorm of the possibilities for the neighbourhood.
  • During ThingsCon on June 9, Tomasz Jaskiewicz organized a workshop with a version of the Wijkbot and tested it on the street.
Special version Wijkbot for ThingsCon workshop
  • July 8 is the second think tank session. The contours of the possibilities are already becoming a bit clearer; how can the Wijkbot be used to supply the resource station at the market with leftover food?
  • The second group of Technical Computer Science students get to work. They manage to add sensors including a positioning system that allows the Wijkbot to drive independently from point a to point b and avoid obstacles.
  • Sept. 23 is the third think tank session. We tested a first version of the Wijkbot with a number of crates in the marketplace and record the reactions. It is good input to further shape the ideas.
We test Wijkbot on the Afrikaandermarkt
  • At the end of October, a special version of Wijkbot will be at the Dutch Design Week. For that occasion, we will name the prototype Wijkbot and launch the special landing page on the website.
Wijkbot is part of DDW exhibition
  • November 16 is the fourth think tank session of 2022 and will take further shape.
  • At the ThingsCon unconference on December 9, the Wijkbot will again be tested for interactions with bystanders, this time in the cafe of The New Institute.
  • We speak with Studio Voor De Stad about the design work in the second part of the project.
  • We have now reached 2023, and on January 27 is a new think tank session, led by Bjorn van Raaij of Zeewaardig/Studio Voor De Stad. The goal in a number of sessions is to create a concrete design focused on activities on King’s Day.
Think tank session in Gemaal op Zuid
  • Jordy de Boer started as a new graduate student at Hogeschool Rotterdam on Feb. 7 and will continue working on the toolkit.
  • On Feb. 14, a team from IPO (Industrial Product Design) of the college will also start. They will be working on the industrial design of the Wijkbot toolkit.

The coming months:

  • The upcoming think tank sessions in March and April are dedicated to designing and testing the Wijkbot with a concrete application where the think tank will act as the client and Studio Voor De Stad will support as designers.
  • One or more graduate students at TU Delft Industrial Design are also about to start.
  • On April 21, Cities of Things Lab 010 will contribute to the Smart & Social Festival organized by the University of Applied Sciences.
  • We will plan an event in the Afrikaanderwijk to showcase the results. Publications are also planned.

To conclude:
Cities of Things Lab 010 has made a lot of progress in the past year. Several hackathons have been organized, experience exchanges with residents have been conducted, and graduate students have started their design work. In the coming year, we will continue to design and develop the Wijkbot toolkit, try out the application possibilities and ensure that the development of Wijkbots can continue after the project ends.

Thank you to all who have contributed so far. We will keep you updated through and newsletters!