ROB-E – Swarm Robotics for Education in Circular Economy

Main Article Content

Melanie Schranz
Paul Amann
Raphaela Egger
Sabrina Schifrer


These days, climate change, robotics and artificial intelligence are discussed on the same level of interest. Our mission is bringing these topics into education: The paper presents the project ROB-E, which aims to pass social and technical skills to pupils of different age groups and school levels (primary and secondary school) in the research fields bionic, robotics, and swarm intelligence encompassing the application of circular economy and environmental protection. This leads to a workshop series that build on one another: After getting into circular-economy-related topics (incl. resource-friendly production, re-use and recycling), pupils design their own robots based on the circular design approach and bionic. They 3D print them with recycled PLA, assemble the individual (electronic) parts and program their robots as a swarm of cleaning robots to collect and sort garbage. Thus, they start an exciting journey with current cutting-edge topics applied on everyday life-situations of pupils.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Melanie Schranz, Lakeside Labs

Lakeside Labs, Lakeside B04b, Klagenfurt, Austria

Paul Amann, smart lab CARINTHIA der Fachhochschule Kärnten

smart lab CARINTHIA der Fachhochschule Kärnten, Lakeside B12b, Klagenfurt, Austria

Raphaela Egger, plasticpreneur® by doing circular gmbh

plasticpreneur® by doing circular gmbh, Viktor Kaplan-Straße 2, Wiener Neustadt, Austria,

Sabrina Schifrer, Wunderwelten

Wunderwelten, Kranzmayerstraße 61c, Klagenfurt, Austria


Hamann, Heiko. Schwarmintelligenz. Springer Spektrum, 2019.

Jdeed, Midhat, Melanie Schranz, and Wilfried Elmenreich. "A study using the low-cost swarm robotics platform spiderino in education." Computers and Education Open 1 (2020): 100017.

LEGO Education. “WeDo 2.0 Computational Thinking Teacher`s Guide." 2017. (accessed on 09 01, 2021).

Reynolds, Craig W. "Flocks, herds and schools: A distributed behavioral model." In Proceedings of the 14th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, pp. 25-34. 1987.

Schranz, Melanie, Gianni A. Di Caro, Thomas Schmickl, Wilfried Elmenreich, Farshad Arvin, Ahmet Şekercioğlu, and Micha Sende. "Swarm intelligence and cyber-physical systems: concepts, challenges and future trends." Swarm and Evolutionary Computation 60 (2021): 100762.

tinkercad. Autodesk. (accessed on 01. 09 2021).

Tisue, Seth, and Uri Wilensky. "Netlogo: A simple environment for modeling complexity." In International conference on complex systems, vol. 21, pp. 16-21. 2004.

WALL•E | Trailer | Official Disney Pixar UK. Disney Pixar. 2008.