Title: Robotic waste bin emptying in an office environment
Subject: Robotics
Level: Advanced


The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines under the leading brands Volvo, Renault Trucks, Mack, UD Trucks, Eicher, SDLG, Terex Trucks, Prevost, Nova Bus, UD Bus, Sunwin Bus and Volvo Penta.
Volvo Group Trucks Operations encompasses the production of state-of-the-art products for the truck brands of the Volvo Group, as well as Volvo Group engines and transmissions, through an international world class industrial environment.
With Volvo Group Trucks Operations you will be part of a global and diverse team of highly skilled professionals working with energy, passion and respect for the individual to become the world leader in sustainable transport solutions.

Background of thesis project

Robots acting in an environment where also humans are active becomes more and more close to reality. Not only in applications aimed for testing and demonstrations, but also closer to real, and productive usage. One of the big questions still, is how to interact with humans, giving the humans a natural feeling for a safe and efficient machine. At Volvo GTO, there are projects on-going having autonomous transporters in our manufacturing plants and in applications in public areas (e.g. Unicorn) with this focus. To get a broader and better understanding for this interaction we would also like to introduce moving robots also in the office environment. That’s the driver for this thesis proposal.

Thesis project task

Based on development and finding made at MDH in the Unicorn project, we would like to set up an office system with one or two truly autonomous robots for emptying dedicated trash bins. The task will consist of:

  • Design and realize the mechatronic design of robots and bins

  • Design and realize the mechatronic design of a small container where the robots can empty their payload

  • Design and implement the functionality emptying the bins on a regular basis

  • Implement a SLAM-based SW for the robots for navigate and manoeuvre in the office space

The work can be carried out where appropriate, but installation shall be made at an office space at the Volvo GTO headquarter in Gothenburg.

Suitable background

Robotics, Mechanical engineering, Automation & Mechatronics (M/Z/F).


  • Understand the needs and prerequisites at Volvo office

  • Set up a theory for the human machine interaction

  • Study theories various sensor systems, e.g. lidar, stereo cameras

  • Study ROS system implementation

  • Implement and run demonstration


Thesis is to be written in English.

This thesis is suitable for two students
Start date: 2018-01-09
End date:
IDT supervisors: Mikael Ekström
Company contact: Volvo GTO Per-Lage Götvall Per-Lage.Gotvall@volvo.com