Informatics students showcase assistive robotics at SDP Course Trade Fair

[08/04/2022] 3rd year Informatics students have been working all semester on their System Design Projects - and on Friday 8th April, the public were given the chance to see what they have accomplished at the annual showcase held at Appleton Tower.

System Design Project - Trade Fair Showcase 2022

The Student Design Project (SDP) course consists of a group project involving the construction of a system of significant complexity under conditions designed to give insights into industrial teamwork. This year the theme for the project was assistive robotics.

System Design Project - Trade Fair Showcase 2022

Every year SDP is concluded with a fair where the students demonstrate their system to a public audience, while being evaluated in parallel by a jury composed of industry judges and University staff.

There was a great deal of originality this year with projects addressing a wide range of topics, from soil health to fire safety, and capabilities from page turning to leg massage.

System Design Project - Trade Fair Showcase 2022

An audience of the students, supervisors, and visitors from industry were given the chance to vote for their favourite project. This was followed by a prize ceremony where the winners of a variety of categories were announced.

System Design Project - Trade Fair Showcase 2022

2022 winners

Best user interface (User Testing)


Most likely to have a positive impact (Bloomberg)


Most environmentally friendly robot (Robotical)


Most likely to turn into a business (Edinburgh Innovations)


Best project overall (KAL)


Most pragmatic solution (Github):


System Design Project - Trade Fair Showcase 2022

SDP Technical team award:


Public prize


The History of SDP

SDP’s history predates the establishment of the School of Informatics. It’s more than a taught course; it’s an institution within Informatics. The system to be designed in the project has varied over the years from robot shopping through Mars lander, robot mine clearance, robot football to assistive robotics.

This year's task was to design and build an assistive robot device and its corresponding software interface. Students were divided into twenty groups of ten and worked together towards self-proposed goals. They have developed a great variety of fantastic projects for a variety of domains.


The final day of the System Design Project is always one of the highlights of the year for me.  It is truly inspirational to see the results of the creativity and dedication that the third year students put into their projects to develop assistive robots.  It is a reminder that Informatics has the ability to change the world for the better.

Jane Hillston
Head of School in the School of Informatics


Related links

Undergraduate Course: System Design Project