Perfect ‘run’ with feedback surfboard and cuddling up to a huggable sleep robot

News - 26 January 2016 - Webredactie Communication

A feedback surfboard, a cuddly robot and a jungle car. These are just some of the tangible results of several minor programmes at TU Delft. On the afternoon of Thursday 28 January, you can see all of these items at the Exhibition of Minors at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.

Surfing to the next level

Students from the Sports Innovation minor got together with the JYSurf company to develop a prototype of a ‘feedback surfboard’, a board with an integrated interactive display. This effective and innovative form of video feedback can help surfers to more quickly and easily improve their performance immediately after a run. Using a camera and a tablet on the beach, the coach can provide commentary on a real-time video clip so that the surfer can work on optimising his technique on the next wave without having to return to the beach.

Cuddly sleep robot

In the Robotics minor, nine teams worked on different robots. One of these is Somnox, an innovative, soft robot for cuddling up to in bed. This cuddly sleep robot was designed to help people with sleep problems to get a better night’s sleep. Previous research has shown that adopting a peaceful breathing rhythm from someone else can help people to fall asleep. Somnox simulates a human breathing rhythm and monitors the sleep pattern of the user. In the morning the robot works as an alarm clock, waking you with a calm sound and gentle light. The prototype of this sleep robot can be seen along with the other robots, which include an autonomous coffee-making robot, a robotic guide dog for the blind and a robot that can pick flowers. The robots were developed in the Robotics minor at TU Delft and the Robotics and Vision minor at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.


Imagine an average day at Schiphol, with people from all over the world coming together and searching through the chaos for a place where they can work for a while before boarding, where they can charge their mobile devices, relax and meet their fellow passengers. Right now there isn’t any single inviting place that meets all of these needs together. In the Interactive Environments minor, students investigated ways of giving passengers in transit a more pleasant experience. Daya is one such way: an interactive and social charging point that also makes users aware of their energy consumption. Users have to swipe over the Daya to get power, thereby increasing their energy awareness. And as not all the users can use the power at the same time, it promotes social interaction between the passengers. In this way, the usual pre-flight stress and chaos can be forgotten for a while.

Part of IDStudioLab and the PASSME project.

Jungle research vehicle

In the Automotive Design minor, students from a range of design disciplines (industrial design, mechanical engineering, architecture and aerospace engineering) spent five months working together on every aspect of automotive design. Coordinator Elmer van Grondelle: “In the final project, each student designed a complete vehicle for extreme conditions, such as a polar climate or desert; or in the case of Maurice van Bussel, a research vehicle to operate in the jungle. The funny thing is, that if you have to restrict yourself to one specific condition, it gives you far more freedom to design, as you don’t have to make a single concession to ensure your vehicle functions in other circumstances.” The vehicle designed by Maurice was made for two researchers investigating various aspects of the jungle. It needed to be able to hang ‘climate pods’ in trees for monitoring the tropical climate. And it had to take samples of plants, water and soil for use in researching new medicines, for example, and for studying increasing pollution in the rainforest. So this sturdy vehicle’s features include a refrigerator for storing samples, a powerful searchlight and a ladder.

3D printed watches

A group of students in the Advanced Prototyping minor has been working on creating the ideal watch. Their assignment was to create a jewel in the ‘signature’ of its maker, using digital technologies, ranging from 3D printing to wood carving. In the exhibition, in which the objects often have a personal connection to the designers, the students tell their story. The exhibition also features electric longboards and a special backpack for transporting cats.

More information 
A minor is a coherent combination of modules that enable students to widen (or deepen) their studies while studying as part of their main discipline. The IDE minors are aimed at teaching students to complete a design assignment in a complex, multidisciplinary environment. Elements include working together with a client, market research and technical aspects such as using a design program.  

The Exhibition of IDE Minors can be seen on Thursday 28 January in the main hall of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering from 12.00 to 17.00 at Landbergstraat 15 in Delft. The exhibition of the Interactive Environments minor can be seen all week, from Monday 25 to Friday 29 January.

For more information, please contact Karen Collet, TU Delft Media Relations Officer, tel. +31 (0)15 27 85408 or +31 (0)6 14015001, e-mail: