Mobility Innovation Centre Delft researches movements within TU Delft Library

On our way to future perspective for education and study on campus through data collection and (rapid)testing.

From Monday 1 March, the TU Delft Library will offer extra study places. Ideally, we would like to make all study places available again, provided that this is of course safe. Fortunately, we do not have to wait patiently, but as visitors, students and employees we can make a contribution ourselves to take steps in the right direction. The Library will be an important research location for a research, performed by the Mobility Innovation Centre Delft. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) wants to use a number of pilots to investigate how measurements as crowd control, walking routes, screens, creating bubbles, triage, COVID-19 (rapid) tests, etc. can contribute to making more physical education and study possible on campus in the long term. TU Delft has linked this to data collection and has been selected to participate.

Data collection, usage and storage

The research is led by Sascha Hoogendoorn-Lanser, Director at Mobility Innovation Centre Delft and Serge Hoogendoorn, distinguished Professor of Smart Urban Mobility. As the first step in the research, the Library tracks how people move within the RIVM measures. This is done based on (anonymousy) monitoring visitors and employees through an app, which you can install on your smartphone. With these insights, we can increasingly optimize the space and work together on an environment where you can study and work both safely and pleasantly.
In a second step, it is investigated how a combination of (rapid) testing and parallel solutions makes further opening up to education and study possible.

The research in the media

The research is led by Sascha Hoogendoorn-Lanser and Serge Hoogendoorn. You can read about Serge Hoogendoorn's dream of a sensor network for research into traffic flows, in his Story of Science. And you can rewatch the interview of Sascha Hoogendoorn-Lanser on the NOS Journaal.
Recently, Delta, the online independent journalism platform of the TU Delft, published an article about the 'Back to Campus' hackathon. The hackathon is the next step in the research, organized by the dispuut Verkeer and takes place on 8 and 9 May in the TU Delft Library.

Hackathon; 8 and 9 May @ TU Delft Library

The hackathon is the next step in the investigation. The organization is in the hands of Dispuut Verkeer and the TU Delft Library provides the location. During the hackathon, we explore the data collected within the Library in recent weeks. The data includes walking paths, distance from other students and the duration of risky situations (if you are within 1.5 meters of someone else). We will use this data to research, develop and pitch the data to be used for future applications. You can still sign up to participate in the hackathon via this link!

  • Date: 8 and 9 May
  • Time: 8.00 to 20.00 hrs.
  • Location: TU Delft Library

The participants are divided into groups of approximately 4 to 5 people. With your group you do a brainstorming session, develop interesting concepts and present the results to the other participants, professors and the organization of the hackathon. During the two days, professionals and professors will visit to give their expertise and experiences and to discuss ideas and concepts. A selection of the speakers on 8 and 9 May:

  • Rob Mudde (CvB) and Sascha Hoogendoorn-Lanser – Opening hackaton
  • Wilfred Booij (Forkbeard) – How does the monitoring system work?
  • Ingrid Snijdewind (GGD) – Everything you always wanted to know about corona
  • Natalie van der Wal (TBM) – How do you influence "good" behavior?

Yu will find all the speakers during the hackathon weekend, below. Do you want to get involved with fellow students or friends, or do you know other people who are interested in these types of challenges?
Then sign up now!


You can find more information about the research below. If you have any questions, please contact library@tudelft.nl.

From who did this research come from?

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has indicated that he wants to use a number of pilots to investigate how we can contribute to making more physical education and studying on campus possible in the long term. TU Delft has linked this to taking measures, data collection and modeling of interactions, and has been selected to participate. COVID-19 (rapid) tests are also part of the pilot.

Who is involved in the research?
  • Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW)
  • Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS)
  • Sascha Hoogendoorn, project leader, Mobility Innovation Centre Delft (part of TU Delft)
  • Maike Simmes, research manager, Valorisation Center
  • Serge Hoogendoorn, research leader, CEG
  • Winnie Daamen, researcher, CEG
  • Marco Rinaldi, researcher, CEG
  • Panchemy Krishnakumari, researcher, CEG
  • Yan Feng, researcher, CEG
  • Piet van Mieghem, researcher, EEMCS
  • Natalie van der Wal, researcher, TPM
  • Ernst & Young
  • Proximy
What is the purpose of the research?

To investigate how (RIVM) measures and influencing behavior can contribute to making more physical education and studying on campus possible (in the near future). The effectiveness of measures can be determined and measures optimized through unique and detailed data collection and modeling. At a later stage, this can be extended with COVID-19 (rapid)testing.

How does the research work?

The pilots are experimenting with solutions to achieve more physical education and studying on campus, such as crowd control, walking routes, splash screens, etc. The basic rules of the RIVM still apply regarding the current risks. (Such as the 1.5m distance rule).

What does the research measure?

In the TU Delft Library, visitors are monitored anonymously and in real time to determine how people move; what is the distance to people around you, what is the route you take inside the building, do people stick to the 1.5 m distance and what are the bottlenecks? And above all; what measures can we introduce to ensure that this 1.5 m distance is maintained as well as possible?

With these insights you can, for example, learn a lot about where crowds arise, why and -above all- how you can design the space even more optimally. In addition to monitoring interactions, we will provide feedback to visitors via light, sound and haptics / vibrations feedback when people are within 1.5 m of each other for a certain period of time.
This allows us to design the space increasingly optimally and together contribute to an environment where you can be both safe and pleasant. Through this research, we not only want to look at how we can reopen more study spaces in the Library, but how we can also optimally organize other spaces on campus in order to open other locations safely in the long run. With this we want to give both employees and students more perspective.

What are the (next) steps in the research?

The research is set up step by step, so we can see the effect of each step. In the first steps, the distance between people is at least 1.5 m. This way we can safely collect our data collection and measures. To keep as much distance as possible, we test and install a detailed walking path inside the Library. If we have gained sufficient experience with this and have arranged it properly, we can see whether we can allow more people to study in the Library at 1.5 m. In a few weeks' time, we will also be looking at how we can use COVID-19 (rapid) tests to safely offer even more students a place to study in the Library.

How can I contribute to the research?

Students and staff can contribute in various ways. This starts with installing the app Forkbeard Proximity Monitor for everyone who works or studies the Library. But other examples of contribution are:

  • Hackathon to see which insights the collected data provide;
  • Ideas to enable social interaction in the library from a safe distance;
  • Ideas to scale up experiences / insights from the library to other locations on campus;
  • Develop measures and determine their effects in advance in a VR environment of the library;
  • Use of the social seats;
  • ... and any other suggestions you have, you can share with project leader Sascha Hoogendoorn.
Is participation in the research mandatory?

Participation is not mandatory, but it is useful. For the study, it is desirable that as many visitors and employees as possible in the public part of the Library download the app on their mobile phone. The more people participate, the more complete the data and the better the insight into safety and possible points for improvement with regard to the design of the rooms. That is why we hope that everyone will install the app.

How do I download the app?

The Forkbeard Proximity Monitor app is available in both the App store and the Play store. Read the manual for information about installation and use.

Then scan the QR code below in the app, to participate in the TU Delft research:

After downloading the app (on my iPhone), I received a (push)message that the app has used my location outside the Library. How is that possible?

The (push) notification that you might receive (even if you are not in the Library) is a standard notification from Apple itself. This notification is not linked to the app. If you are not in the Library and therefore not near the beacons, this data will not be shared or stored. The notification appears because you have given permission to turn on your GPS location. You do this in the Proximity Monitor, so that this app works better. The only data that is processed, is the data that comes from being at the Library, determined using these beacons. The data cannot be traced back to individual people.

Apple likes to keep you informed that you have given permission to turn on the GPS location. You will not receive this message on Android phones.

How can I participate when I don't have a smartphone?

Preference is given to using the app for participation in the research. If you cannot / do not want to install the app, you can use a wristband which contains a tag. This band can be picked up at the desk upon arrival. There is a possibility for employees / students who visit the Library regularly and do not want to / cannot put the app on their phone, to claim a wristband for a longer period.

You can hand in the bands when leaving the Library in the central hall / entrance. For employees, this is possible in the central hall and at the staff exit. All wristbands are cleaned before being handed out again.

Is my privacy guaranteed?

The social distancing tool is privacy proof and complies with the GDPR (AVG) laws. The data that the system provides is people's locations in time and space. This means that no personal data is used and the tracking of your movements stops as soon as you leave the TU Delft Library building. Only when you are near a beacon will the app or wristband register where you are. As soon as you exit the library, the tracking will stop.

Are there costs associated with (participating in) the research?

There are no costs associated with the participation of this research.

Is it possible to see the results of the research?

The social distancing tool includes a dashboard in which aggregated data is displayed. For example, the dashboard shows how many people have been less than 1.5 m apart for more than 2 minutes and where most contacts have taken place within 1.5 m in the Library.

Important: No data is shown on an individual level (not even anonymously).


You can find more information about the hackathon below. If you have any questions, please contact J.F.Poortvliet@student.tudelft.nl.

What is the purpose of the hackathon?

The hackathon is organized for and by students. The goal of the research is to allow students to work with the social distancing data collected at the Library (and at other locations participating in the pilot). The students therefore carry out part of the research themselves. This gives him access to the dashboard and the underlying raw data. This means they have the same data as the researchers. This contributes to the transparency of the research. All data is collected and processed anonymously.

Another goal of the hackathon is -by actively involving students in the research- to make them aware of what they can do themselves to limit contamination with COVID and to see which measures are effective for them as a target group, to to (re)open the campus as fast and safe as possible. In addition, it provides insight into the role empirical research can play in this.

How are students recruited for the hackathon?

Students from the TU Delft and The Hague University of Applied Sciences are asked to participate in the hackathon through various channels and organizations. To register for participation, fill in the digital participation form.

What information do students receive prior to the hackathon?

After a student has registered, they will receive further information about the hackathon, including the set-up of the two days, the speakers, the measures taken on location, data collection that takes place on location and how to perform a self-test. This self-test is sent to the student by post and is can be performed by themselves, under the digital supervision of a professional. Based on this information, the student can still decide not to participate in the hackathon. Also at the start of the hackatohn, the importance of (future) self-testing is again explained. A speaker from the GGD (Public Health Service) will tell more about this during the hackathon.

What measures apply during the hackathon?

The standard RIVM guidelines are adhered to during the hackathon. This means that a distance of 1.5 meters is maintained and standard hygiene rules are observed. As an additional measure, all attendees (students, supervisors and support staff) are asked to take a self-test and to submit the results. Only with a negative result can you participate in the hackathon.

What do we expect from the participants?

Potential participants are asked to take a self-test. This self-test can be sent by post, but can also be picked up in the Library. Because participation in the hackathon is voluntary, the requirement may be that participants make their test results known to the organization. Students are only allowed to participate if the test result is negative. They are also asked to sign for this when the final decision is made to participate in the hackathon. The same form also states that the organization of the hackathon will not share the test results with third parties.

To support students in performing the self-test, we use a testing service developed by Fontys University of Applied Sciences. Students are instructed via webcam about taking the test, reading the test result and what to do if it turns out that they have unexpectedly tested positive.

Potential participants will be asked on the application form to give a motivation why they want to participate in the hackathon and which course of study they are following. With more registrations than there are places available (based on the test area and the 1.5 meters), a selection can be made based on motivation and study direction.

Which speakers are present during the hackathon weekend?
  • Rob Mudde and Sascha Hoogendoorn-Lanser - Opening hackaton
  • Danny Venkatasawmy (Ernst & Young) - What's in the data?
  • Wilfred Booij (Forkbeard) - How does the monitoring system work?
  • Winnie Daamen (CITG) - How do you model pedestrian flows?
  • Natalie van der Wal (TBM) - How do you influence "good" behavior?
  • Serge Hoogendoorn - What can we do with these data and models after Covid-19?
  • Panchamy Krishnakumari - How do you visualize data properly?
  • Ingrid Snijdewind (GGD) - Everything you always wanted to know about corona!
  • Mattia Sensi - How do you model contact networks?
  • Jeroen van den Hoven - How do (data) privacy, ethics and applications relate to each other?
What are the risks?

By keeping a distance of 1.5 meters and following the standard RIVM hygiene rules, the risks during the hackathon are not bigger than elsewhere. It is up to everyone to actually follow these guidelines. There is a responsibility with the organization in terms of compliance, but also with all those present themselves. We try to reduce the risk of contamination even further by conducting self-tests prior to the hackathon.

In addition to participants in the hackathon, there are also other students present in the Library, that come to study. There is no obligation for a negative corona test for the studying students. The organization will make sure the hackathon participants and the students do not come in contact with each other. This is done by, for example, providing food and drinks during the hackathon, using separate toilets, starting and ending the hackathon outside the start and end times of the study shifts, so that the entrance to the Library does not cause unnecessary congestion. 

Just like in daily life, despite the standard measures, the risks are not completely equal to zero. Taking a self-test reduces the risk. However, self-tests are not 100% reliable.

The research works with data that has already been collected. That research can still continue, even if it turns out that an infection occurred during the hackathon. Therefore there is no risk to the investigation.