dr.ir. E.C. Dertien (Edwin)

Assistant Professor

About Me

I have a deep passion for building Robotics, resulting in many robot(related) projects inside and outside University. In 2004 I finished an internship at the ' Shadow Robot Company' in London, working on air-muscle control of their famous humanoid hand and an eight-legged walking robot. After my graduation work on 'Dribbel' in 2005, a powered 'passive dynamic' walking robot, I continued to work on energy-efficient actuation of (walking) robots. I have been a member of the Dutch Robotics team participating in the RoboCup in 2008 and 2009. In 2014 I completed my PhD research on the development of a pipe inspection robot for life gas Mains in which rapid manufacturing (3D printing) plays a major role. More info can be found in the thesis. Currently I am involved in a number of research projects related to social robotics, wearables (soft robotics) WEAFING and inspection robots TISCALI and Smart Tooling.

I am involved as a researcher and educator in the bachelor programme ' Creative Technology' teaching courses on Programming and Physical Computing, Sensors and a creative hackathon. In the I-Tech programme I give two design-oriented courses: Mastering Tinkering and Social Robot Design. Other contributions are the CuriousU summerschool on Robot Interaction Design and an introduction into robotics in the 'Smart Cities' HTHT module.

Furthermore, I try to maintain a blog on personal DIY projects at retrointerfacing.com, a central site on my activities at edwindertien.nl and a site on technical activities for art and theatre at kunstentechniekwerk.nl. Since 2013 I am co-founder of the ASSortiMENS foundation running a FabLab inspired workshop for people with autism.


Engineering & Materials Science
Human Robot Interaction
Reinforcement Learning
Social Robots
Earth & Environmental Sciences


Botteghi, N., Grefte, L. , Poel, M. , Sirmacek, B. , Brune, C. , Dertien, E. , & Stramigioli, S. (2022). Towards Autonomous Pipeline Inspection with Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning. In J. Kim, B. Englot, H-W. Park, H-L. Choi, H. Myung, J. Kim, & J-H. Kim (Eds.), Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications 6 - Results from the 9th International Conference on Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications (pp. 259-271). (Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems; Vol. 429 LNNS). Springer Science + Business Media. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97672-9_23
Aslam, S. , Dertien, E. C. , & van Dijk, J. (2020). Designerly Scaffoldings for Co-designing Social Robots and Human-Robot Interaction.. Poster session presented at 1st International Workshop on Designerly HRI Knowledge 2020.
Noshahri, H., van Delft, M. , Olde Scholtenhuis, L. , Franco Hempenius, J. , & Dertien, E. (2020). Towards underground void detection with in-pipe ground penetrating radar. Paper presented at 3rd Asia Pacific Meeting on Near Surface Geoscience & Engineering, NSGE 2020, Virtual Conference. https://doi.org/10.3997/2214-4609.202071025
Mader, A. H. , Fehnker, A. , & Dertien, E. C. (2020). Tinkering in Informatics as Teaching Method. 450-457. Paper presented at 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, CSEDU 2020. https://doi.org/10.5220/0009467304500457
Neidlinger, K. L., Toussaint, L. , Dertien, E. C. , Truong, K. P. , Hermens, H. J. , & Evers, V. (2019). Emotional prosthesis for animating awe through performative biofeedback. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC '19) (pp. 312-317) https://doi.org/10.1145/3341163.3346939
Aslam, S. , van Dijk, J. , & Dertien, E. (2019). CoCoCo: Co-Designing a Co-design toolkit for Co-bots to empower autistic adults. 1-16. Paper presented at 4th RTD Conference: Design United, Rotterdam, Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7855904.v2
Aslam, S. , Dertien, E. , & van Dijk, J. (2019). Participatory Design of a Social Robot (So-bot) Toolkit for and with Adults with Autism. Paper presented at 4th RTD Conference: Design United, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Other Contributions

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link


I teach mainly in the BSc program Creative Technology and in the I-Tech MSc program. A short introduction to my MSc courses can be found in this video.

I like to use a hands-on approach, always linking theory to practical (tangible) experience. By building things for real, as quickly and as realistic as possible, you can discover so many interesting aspects of your design problem, that simply don't show up on the whiteboard or in calculation.


Affiliated Study Programmes



Courses Academic Year  2021/2022

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2020/2021


As an invited speaker I really enjoy sharing my enthusiasm as maker and designer, I think it is very important that IF we continue to use technology in a sustainable way, we should be able to take it apart, repair it, improve it and make it our own.

From the listed media appearances below I'm most fond of contributing to an episode of 'Het Klokhuis' - I remember watching this program as a child, so it felt really special to be on the other side of the camera for once. I seriously enjoy the medium television, and due to covid-19 have been enthusiastically recording my own lectures.

In the press

News on utwente.nl

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Carré (building no. 15), room C3431
Hallenweg 23
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

Navigate to location

Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Carré  C3431
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Additional Contact Information

Social Media