HiiCCE - Stadtreinigung

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 and organic household waste in around 900,000 households. Other responsibilities of SRH include the cleaning of streets, greenspace, playgrounds and parts of the surface of the city’s waterbodies. 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 parcs and green spaces. This includes the collection of trash like cigarettes or packaging waste and the emptying of waste-bins. The tools, which are necessary for these tasks differ. The employees need to carry trash bags and waste grabbers, rakes or shovels because it is not always possible to find a parking lot close to the working areas.

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. Thus, a lot of the working time is needed to organise the working system and not 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.

Aims of the project
The aim of the project is to develop a self-driving “Cleaning Buddy” which fits in the working environment of the cleaning department of the SRH. The Cleaning Buddy should automatically be following the employees and carry the required tools to enable the employees to concentrate on their core tasks.

Research on existing vehicles could give valuable inspiration in the first step. Based on these, a modification or redesign of the vehicle should be done in order to fulfill the required demands.
The “Cleaning Buddy” should be easily transportable by the employees and the used SRH-Trucks, should carry several tools, automatically follow the employees and be able to rest at a place where it is useful for the employees. The “Cleaning Buddy” should be designed to drive on different undergrounds and slopes.

Together with the responsible department and the end-users the needed requirements for the Cleaning Buddy should be determined and a construction plan or even prototype be build.
The SRH is interested in a “Cleaning Buddy”, because the new system could improve the efficiency of the cleaning process, reduce the workload, and thus increase the employee satisfaction.


  • Market research on the which products are available and promising to adapt four our goals
  • Develop a concept for a Cleaning Cuddy based on the needs of SRH, incl. sketches, construction drawings, description of materials, used technologies, etc. as well as a logistic concept for transport and usage of the Cleaning Buddy
  • Create a 3D-Model and, if possible, build a first prototype

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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