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HiiCCE and Stadtreinigung Hamburg

Advanced Cleaning Buddy

Description of the company

Stadtreinigung Hamburg (SRH) is Hamburg's largest service provider in the field of waste management. With almost 4000 employees, it operates as a full-service provider for public, commercial and private customers and is responsible for the collection of residual-, paper and organic household waste in around 900,000 households. Other responsibilities of SRH include the cleaning of streets, greenspace, playgrounds and parts of the city’s surface waters. The Hamburg Institute of Innovation, Climate Protection and Circular Economy (HiiCCE) is a subsidiary company of SRH and a research institute affiliated to TUHH.


SRH is responsible for the cleaning of streets, walkways parks and green spaces. This includes the collection of trash like cigarettes or packaging waste and the emptying of garbage can. The tools, which are necessary for these tasks differ. Therefore, a previous FFE-Group designed and built a prototype, together with the Electricians of the SRH. The group did fabulous work by building a prototype which is moving, but here some adjustments are necessary to fulfill the needs of the cleaning department of the SRH.


Since it is not always effective to carry the whole range of possibly needed working equipment, so the employees are frequently walking back to the cleaning truck to fetch the needed equipment. A large share of the working time is spent on work organization instead of being used for the core-work of the cleaning.
SRH is using tool-trolleys, but they are not completely matching the requirements in terms of usability, transport, and handling. So, the SRH is looking for new ways to assist their employees in transporting their working equipment.

Therefore, the group improved and electrified, the tool-trolley. For a better support of the park cleaning employees, it is necessary to add a sensor based, follow-me function for the Cleaning buddy to unleash their full potential.

Aims of the project

The aim of the project is to improve the self-driving “Cleaning Buddy” which fits in the working environment of the cleaning department of the SRH. The Cleaning Buddy should automatically follow the employees and carry the required tools to enable the employees to concentrate on their core tasks.
Another aim is here to develop, with the Team in Cooperation with the Training department for future Electricians and mechanics of the SRH and the cleaning department of the SRH.
The SRH is interested in a “Advanced Cleaning Buddy”, because the new system could improve the efficiency of the cleaning process, reduce the workload, and thus increase the employee satisfaction.


  • Update on the existing Cleaning buddy.
  • Discuss the requieries of the SRH to be able to plan the adjustments of the cleaning buddy
  • Improve the cleaning buddy

Target group (students)

Students who are concerned about the environment and interested in developing a technical solution to improve working conditions of employees. We are looking for students who are creative, full of innovative tech-based ideas, like to dive deep into new thematic areas and prefer to work in teams. It would be great if you are enthusiastic and if you believe that positive change is possible!


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