Roboat Amsterdam, Netherlands

2018 - 2020


MIT Senseable City Laboratory, Boston & Amsterdam

Project Website:


Roboat is a multi-million dollar research collaboration between Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying autonomous boats' potential. Roboat is a new kind of on-demand infrastructure: independent platforms will combine to form floating bridges and stages, collect waste, deliver goods, and transport people, all while collecting data about the city. How can we re-imagine urban infrastructures with cutting-edge technologies?

As part of my with Roboat, I worked on three main areas: first, similar to autonomous cars, Roboat will need to learn how to interact with people. We used VR to use this tool to investigate and discover how citizens will interact with autonomous technology and how they will experience being inside a Roboat. Second, seeking to answer a key question for the Roboat project was how to interface between the canals and streets of Amsterdam. Designing various use cases allows for flexible docking and utilising the projects potential to extend the canal edge as a public space. Third, leading the design of an interactive exhibit in Amsterdam for the finale of the project, which is due to take place in September 2021.


- Venverloo, T; Duarte, F; Benson, T; Bitran, Q; D. Beldad; A; Alvarez, R; Ratti, C. [Published - Journal of Urban Technologies]


[Principal Investigators: Dennis Frenchman, MIT DUSP, Carlo Ratti. MIT Senseable city lab, Daniela Rus, MIT CSAIL, Andrew Whittle, MIT CEE] / [Research Lead: Fábio Duarte] / [Urban Interfaces: Tom Benson, Yuan Li] / [Design & Visualisation: Niklas Hagemann, Pietro Leoni] / [Robotics: David Fernandez, Tixiao Shan, Wei Wang] / [Sensing: Drew Meyers, Qinmin Zheng]