iTec Student Team wins 1st Place at the HRI Student Design Competition!


We are proud to announce that MoBi, our interactive classroom robot teaching children how to responsibly deal with waste, made the first place at this years’ Student Design Competition at the International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction! It was developed by a student team at iTec.  


Teaching Children how to deal with waste

MoBi - short for "Monster Bin" – is a robotic monster that uses simple dialogues to explain to children how they can correctly separate their waste produced in the classroom. Apart from dealing with existing waste, MoBi also offers advice on how to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to avoid waste in the first place.

  A sketch of the robot and a picture of the current prototype Copyright: © Laura Platte / iTec

The Student Design Competition

The Student Design Competition takes place annually as part of the International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. Students from all over the world develop robotic prototypes addressing real-world problems. Among the ten teams selected for the final round of the competition, MoBi was awarded the first place.

Over the past few months, a five-member team at the iTec (Jayadev Madyal, Laura Platte, Julia Arndt, Marlon Spangenberg and Konstantin Zähl) has developed a concept and a first prototype of an interactive robot for primary school. You can learn about the development process and see the current state of the technical implementation in this 5-minute video on the ACM youtube channel.

To learn more about MoBi, you can also read our paper:

Madyal et al. (2020). MoBi - An Interactive Classroom Robot Helping Children to Separate Waste.

Next steps in developing MoBi

In the future, we plan to extend the dialogue system to cover more waste types and refine the decision tree that structures the dialogues between MoBi and the children. Once the physical the prototype has been completed, we will test MoBi with primary school children to get feedback und on how MoBi is perceived by the target group, and how to further develop the interaction design.