Responsible Sensing Lab


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Call for proposals: Responsible Solutions in the Smart City

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Do you have an innovative idea to tackle ethical challenges in the smart city? We offer financial support and resources to transform your concept into a tangible prototype in the vibrant city of Amsterdam.

Deadline: September 14

The Need for Practical Examples of Value Design

Amsterdam increasingly harnesses the power of digital technologies like sensors, platforms, and algorithms to efficiently manage and maintain various aspects of city life. Think about traffic, public spaces, law and order.

At the same time, implementing digital technologies may lead to unintended side effects for citizens and can compromise public values. Ensuring responsible and ethical practices becomes imperative. The city has embraced the TADA values since 2016. Also it states that transparency, understandability, human dignity, autonomy, and privacy, are guiding principles for smart city solutions. So, what does this look like concretely?

Today, we still lack practical examples of how these values can be effectively designed and integrated into smart city systems.

Who We're Seeking

We are actively looking for TU Delft academics who can offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to bridge the gap between public values and smart city technology. If you are passionate about shaping responsible solutions and have expertise in the digital technology domain, we invite you to join us.

What's in it for You

Participating in our Call for Proposals offers a range of benefits tailored to your academic journey:

  • Academic Research Opportunities: Through prototyping, your research can gain new dimensions, opening doors to potential publications and enhancing your academic profile;
  • Partnership with the City of Amsterdam: Successful proposals may lead to partnerships with the City of Amsterdam, providing a unique opportunity to test your solution and measure its impact in a real-world context;
  • Consortium Building: Your participation in this Call for Proposals can be a significant step toward forming a consortium for future grant applications, leveraging the collective expertise of various stakeholders;
  • Professional Support: If selected, you will receive support from a Responsible Sensing Lab (RSL) producer, who will guide you in prototyping and testing your idea.

The Winning Proposal

The winning proposal will receive a budget to prototype their concept with the assistance of a Responsible Sensing Lab (RSL) producer. This includes the production of a prototype as well as communication materials such as a short movie, animation, and professional photoshoot. Once the prototype is completed, we will facilitate your introduction to the relevant department at the municipality of Amsterdam for the presentation of your idea.

The prizes for the competition are as follows:

First prize: A production budget of 20,000 euros

Second prize: A production budget of 10,000 euros

Furthermore, winners will receive collaboration support with the city of Amsterdam and assistance in producing communication materials for their solution/prototype. The allocated budget can be utilized to hire a design agency, prototyping firm, software developer, or other relevant professionals. The RSL producer will work in collaboration with you to manage the budget effectively.

About Us

Responsible Sensing Lab is dedicated to envisioning, designing, and testing alternative versions of digital technology in cities based on public values. While we have primarily focused on privacy and transparency, we are eager to explore the practical implementation of other values in smart city technology. Our portfolio boasts several successful prototypes, and we are excited to embark on new collaborations that push the boundaries of responsible sensing practices.

Responsible Sensing Lab is initiated by the City of Amsterdam and AMS Institute. For this Call for Proposals we collaborate closely with TU Delft.

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Responsible Sensing Lab anniversary event

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The Responsible Sensing Lab team invites you to their 2nd anniversary event!

At the Responsible Sensing Lab we research, develop and integrate smart technologies to help solve urban challenges. At the same time, we explore how to embed society’s public and democratic values in the design of these innovations.

On 16 February 2023 from 3.00 - 6.30 pm we will celebrate our 2nd anniversary with a hybrid event in the IJzaal of Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam.

Together with you, we'd like to reflect on our achievements since our official start and look ahead to our plans for the upcoming period. Rector Magnificus Peter-Paul Verbeek will provide a keynote. His research is centered around the relationships between humans, technology and society and focuses on philosophical analysis, ethical reflection and practices of design and innovation.

Please register so we know how many of you will join us in Amsterdam and online.

Responsible Sensing Lab's picture Meet-up on Feb 16th
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Meetup & demonstratie Responsible Sensing Lab

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Graag nodigt het Responsible Sensing Lab je uit voor een meetup waarin we je meer vertellen over ons werk. We zullen enkele van onze projecten uitlichten en demonstreren. Iedereen is van harte welkom!

Donderdag 27 oktober om 16.00 uur.


  • 16.00 introductie Responsible Sensing Lab door Sam Smits (projectleider) en Coen Bergman (initiatiefnemer)
  • 16.15 drie van projecten uitgelicht door Coen Bergman
  • Simple sensors
  • Shuttercam
  • Shutterring
  • 16.25 demonstratie Responsible Sensing Toolkit door Sam Smits
  • 16.45 vragenronde en afsluiting
  • 17:00 borrel + bezichtiging demomodellen

De meetup is in het Nederlands maar alle informatie over het Responsible Sensing Lab is ook in het Engels beschikbaar op onze website.

Responsible Sensing Lab's picture Meet-up on Oct 27th
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Responsible smart doorbells

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Photo: Daan Rozinga, The Incredible Machine

The Responsible Sensing Lab is currently working on a few projects regarding smart doorbells.

Smart doorbells are like a security camera's, but available for everyone. Always on, and owned by private parties, the smart doorbell is destined to have an impact on our privacy. As of now, there could be thousands of smart doorbells in Amsterdam, filming public space. We don t have a clear view on the numbers, and we do not know what the owners do with the collected data. Smart doorbell owners are often not aware of the privacy issues.

One of the Responsible Sensing Lab's projects is Shutterring. The Shutterring project aims to make smart doorbells more responsible by ensuring the privacy of bypassers and owners while keeping the main functionality of the device intact. Shutterring is a design by The Incredible Machine.

Inspired by Shutterring, the Lab has started another project regarding responsible smart doorbells: Challenging the design of smart doorbells. In order to challenge the current design of smart doorbells (IoT doorbells with integrated cameras) a few alternative smart doorbells have been created through speculative design. The goal of this project is to kickstart a conversation about how to deal with the presence of smart doorbells in the city of Amsterdam. How could smart doorbells be designed in a way that they align better with the values of the city and its population?

The Responsible Sensing Lab team will present both their smart doorbell projects during the demo day on 11 October. Stay tuned!

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Interactive installation about sensors in the smart city

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Discover how sensors make Amsterdam a smarter city. What measurements are taken and how is data being collected?

The Responsible Sensing Lab created the interactive installation Senses of Amsterdam that is currently exhibited at the public library of Amsterdam (OBA) location Slotermeer! Read more about this project on our website:

After traveling from NEMO Science Museum to Arcam, Senses of Amsterdam can now be visited free of charge at Slotermeerlaan 103E from Tuesday until Saturday.

The exhibition at OBA Slotermeer ends on 25 September 2022. Grab your chance!

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Responsible Sensing Toolkit is live!

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Met trots presenteren we de Responsible Sensing Toolkit die vorige week werd gelanceerd. Deze Toolkit helpt gemeenten en organisaties die op een verantwoorde manier sensor-technologieën willen inzetten in de openbare ruimte.

Ben jij een stadsinnovator die zich bezighoudt met de inzet van sensoren? En wil je meer te weten komen over hoe je daarbij maatschappelijke normen en waarden als uitgangspunt kunt nemen? De Responsible Sensing Toolkit helpt je in zes stappen op weg.

Bekijk de Responsible Sensing Toolkit op de website van het Responsible Sensing Lab.

In de Toolkit vind je allerlei hulpmiddelen die je op weg helpen met jouw sensing-project. Bijvoorbeeld ons Responsible Sensing Toolkit Decision Canvas en video's waarin experts hun inzichten delen. Ook kun je je aanmelden voor een van onze workshops, zoals de Quickscan die je helpt bij het maken van een heldere roadmap naar een verantwoord en ethisch sensing-project. In sommige gevallen bieden we deze workshop gratis aan. Lees hier meer over deze workshop.


We proudly present to you the Responsible Sensing Toolkit that was launched last week. This Toolkit empowers municipalities and organizations that want to implement sensing technologies for public space in a responsible manner.

Are you a city innovator thinking about deploying sensors? And do you want to learn more about how societal values could guide you in doing so? The Responsible Sensing Toolkit will help you on your journey in 6 steps.

Check out the Responsible Sensing Toolkit on the website of the Responsible Sensing Lab.

The Toolkit offers many resources that will help you on your way with your sensing project. For instance our Responsible Sensing Toolkit Decision Canvas or our videos in which experts share their insights. We also offer workshops, like a Quick scan that helps you set up a clear roadmap to a responsible and ethical sensing project. In particular cases this workshop is free of charge. Read more about this workshop here.

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