learn together


OnBoard is an online platform where community members learn with each other. While various studies have shown formative assessment and immediate feedback play a key role in learning, it remains challenging to make the students’ learning experience individualized. OnBoard combines the good sides of traditional classrooms and MOOCs, where students can have guided instruction, constructive feedback, and wide access to learning resources at the same time. OnBoard is designed to alleviate the situation by promoting collaborative learning among community members.


Important concepts:

  • class – a basic unit in OnBoard community, which could mirror a real physical class at ETH or a self-organized study group
  • learning resources – files uploaded or websites tagged by users
  • points – contribution to the community in general

Ways to earn points:

  • Share notes/solutions to the class
  • Ask a good question, i.e. a question that is upvoted by a lot of people
  • Answer others’ questions
  • Recommend good learning resources to others, for example, a great textbook or a website

Crucial features for easy collaboration and vibrant community:

  • All posted questions will be stored with association with the context. For example, if someone has a question in line 16 of the script on page 30, a pop-up window will first show a list of questions on the same or nearby positions. Learners can see potential duplicated questions more easily. Others can answer questions with direct reference as well.
  • “Points” reflects a member’s reputation in the community and will influence the access privilege to the resources, the process time for questions, etc. More mechanisms can be introduced by studying second-order problems.
  • Connect like-minded learners according to their used learning resources. We know there are different types of learners. Some are better at reading a text. Some are better at interpreting graphics. By connecting learners of similar types, we boost meaning collaboration and reduce communication noise.

Crucial features for learning in general:

  • Extract all the concepts in the text and display their definitions on screen. This saves extra time for going to Google/Wikipedia.
  • Track and show learning progress, including time spent on each section, and potentially scores in quizzes/exams.

Although the first version of OnBoard is intended to target at traditional classrooms and flipped classrooms, it should work without such restrictions as well.


Hi, I’m Shengyu. Feel free to write me an e-mail for any comments or potential cooperation. We can further meet offline or have a phone call if you would like to support OnBoard in any form. huangsh@student.ethz.ch



Artful hookas crafted to perfection.


Traditional hookas consist of a long central pipe and a glass bowl, making them prone to accidentally fall over and break. With advanced technologies, such as laser cutting and computer-aided design, we consequently re-engineered the entire design for unprecedented stability and performance. Crafted from quality materials and enlighted by RGB-LEDs, AH Shishas bring the modern interpretation of the historic vaping tradition to the western hemisphere.


Hookahs have been a significant part of Oriental and Asian culture since the 16th century. Within the last decade, in many western countries, the popularity of these traditional devices grew massively. Nonetheless, the original design of the device remained almost unchanged, keeping its same limitations. In the generic conformation, the outlet for the hose is placed on top of the water bowl, making it susceptible to pulling forces on the hose — these forces occur regularly during usage and oftentimes bring the Hookah to fall over. Our redesign features a tripod construction with multiple hose outlets in the bottom plate. Topped off by a built-in, wirelessly controlled light, we not only created a fundamentally stable construction, but also an outstanding piece of art with an up-to-date look and feel. We are two students dedicated to bring the Hookah tradition to the next stage by combining genuine craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology.


Get in touch with us: AHShishas@gmail.com

Nao Superfood Drinks

natural only


We are three students with a passion for sports and nature (ETH, UZH & HSG). During one of our training sessions, we had the idea of combining natural energy with great taste and a lifestyle product. Our vision was to use the energy of nature to help people achieve more. We didn’t need artificial ingredients to develop our Nao drinks. Nature inspired us. Now we want to inspire more people with our product. Less plastic, less sugar, more life – that’s why we use glass bottles and only a bit of natural sugar. Our mission is to make the beverage market healthier and more sustainable.


We have two products @ the moment, but we are expanding quickly. AWAKE is our caffeine Drink. With natural caffeine from Guarana and a great taste from cranberry and pomegranate, AWAKE gives you energy. RECHARGE is our Vitamin Drink. With natural Vitamin C from the Acerola fruit, RECHARGE contributes to your immune system stability.


Please contact us via mail 🙂


Cheers Hendrik

3D Fins

Built to perform


3DFins is a small project which aims to 3D-print surfing fins. Our ultimate goal is to make the fins cheaper, more customizable and high performance. In addition we understand that design is essential, that’s why we try to find the right balance in between them.


We are exploring different filaments and 3D printing technologies.
At the moment, we are testing different kinds of materials, some of them being bio-degradable or light weight.

Here are some examples of what we are looking into:

  • Fluorescent fins
  • Honeycomb fins
  • Fins with LED for night surfing
  • Bio-Degradable fins
  • Nylon-glass fiber fins

The first prototypes are already available. Therefore, if you want to check them out contact us!
Also, we are looking for more people to join us. Having a passion for surfing is basically all you need since our project is based on that.

Hang loose, Giani and Andri


Are you interested to get in touch with us?
Just Email Andri abisaz@student.ethz.ch!


underwater robots


Tethys wants to bring together students with a passion for underwater technology and exploration and aims to be the first Swiss team ever to participate in the 2019 MATE ROV competition. This competition is held by the Institute for Marine Advanced Technology and Education (MATE) in the USA. Its goal is to motivate students, to apply and expand their knowledge by building an underwater robot. Heading for this competition, Tethys is creating an opportunity for students to share their knowledge and join their skills in an interdisciplinary, motivated team.


Did you know that we know more about the surface of the moon, than about our oceans? With 70 percent of our planet covered by water there is still plenty left to be discovered. Reaching these last unknown places is a great technological challenge because it requires vehicles that can withstand the extreme underwater conditions.

Tethys wants to bring together students with a passion for underwater technology and exploration and aims to be the first Swiss team ever to participate in the 2019 MATE ROV competition.
This competition is held by the Institute for Marine Advanced Technology and Education (MATE) in the USA. Its goal is to motivate students, to apply and expand their knowledge by building an underwater robot, which can be used to solve various complicated tasks defined by judges.

Heading for this competition, Tethys is creating an opportunity for students to share their knowledge and join their skills in an interdisciplinary, motivated team.


Did we spark your interest?
Visit tethys-robotics.ch or get in touch with us at info@tethys-robotics.ch


Quality Control System for Manufacturing


New automation solutions are the driver of efficiency within the $15 trillion global manufacturing industry. Much of the manual, heavy work has already been automated, but significant challenges remain in automating processes that require advanced vision capabilities. We are building a system to solve one of the most significant global challenges in industrial automation: Ensuring quality in fully automated manufacturing. Our project focuses on building a hardware/software solution to reach defect identification levels that surpass human performance in real manufacturing operations.


Our project is combining typical industrial automation technologies with the latest technology in deep learning. The solution combines conveyors, cameras, sensors and related software to create a baseline of images of the manufactured products. We then use deep learning technologies to build representations of anomalies in the products, and ways to visualize this information to the user.
We target for a production level solution that could be readily applied to different manufacturing scenarios of small part manufacturing. We also consider relevant manufacturing site limitations in the project – from computer hardware choices to industrial usability.
We are looking for team members with interest in applying the latest computer vision and deep learning models in real-world scenarios. The project offers an exciting opportunity for individuals seeking to combine technologies from different domains like Optics, Hardware design, UX design and Machine Vision.


If you are interested don’t hesitate to visit our website https://blinklabs.ai
or drop us a mail at hello@blinklabs.ai


Personalized Access Control System for the Student Project House


Acos is a personalized access control and data collection systems  developed in the Student Project House. It is based on off-the-shelf components and offers an always increasing amount of functionality.

How does it work?

The system is working on off the shelf components and custom code. The basic hardware functionality can be explained as following: The card read gets the card ID and hands it over to the brain of the system. Here all the data is save in database. The touch interface then give the user to select between the different functionalities.

When a machine or a locker is used, a data package is wirelessly send to microcontrollers which then activate relay boards.


[August of 2017 ] We are proud that we had so much interest on our system at ISAM 2017, where we presented our project. the corresponding poster can be found here.

[February of 2018] Since the summer of 2017 the system was further developed. In addition to the basic machine control functionality user tracking and data collection was improved. Also the system is now able to smart control lockers. This could have a variety of use case, from tools to personal lockers.

[October of 2018] Over the last months we developed a shop and storage management system. By tracking the storage numbers our system can remind the owner to order new materials and give feedback on the material usage. At this moment we are using either a tree system or an add by ID shop system. The plan is to implement a barcode based system as soon as we find time. 3d prints are now automatically billed including pdf bills that are send out automatically.

Like planned we finished the work on our dead man system that turns off machines if a user does not press a button in a given time interval even after the optical and audible signals have been activated.

In addition to this we are working hardly to implement the first acos 400 system, that is capable of controlling 400V three phase power, in the Student Project House before the end of the month.


As of right now the team is working hard on putting the finishing touches on acos 400 and reworking all electronic to custom PCBs. Besides this we are having interviews with potential customers to improve our product for a potential marked start.


The system is build around a base station which costs around 150$ and a receiver unit for every machine you want to control. This receiver unit, which is a small box that is inserted into the power cord, only costs 7$. All components are off-the-shelf parts which is the reason for the small pricetag. For most makerspaces, you will only need one base station but adding another one is easy to do.
When a student scans his/her ID Card, the system checks if the user is registered and if so offers him to turn on machines he/she is allowed to use. Then a command is send to a micro-controller over WiFi which then turns on the relay.

The intended use of the system can be summarized as follows:

  • Check for users authentication
  • Secure machines against wrong use
  • Log who used a machine (backlog in case of damage)
  • Create precise statistics on use to improve the Makerspace
  • Get valuable data for machine maintenance

The constructed prototype does not only largely simplify the access control to the space, machines and other services in a scalable manner, but also generates valuable data. Given the user’s input (log in to/out of Makerspace, log in/off for machine use or other services), the Makerspace managers can log the time and duration of use, as well as the amount of uses for every user and project. A variety of user data is basically unlimited. Right now we only track the gender, field of study and the status of study (Bachelor, Master, PhD., Staff). Furthermore, it forces the users to take more care of the machines as any defect could be traced back to the person responsible.
As a next step further IoT applications like a LED-sign can be implemented which makes the system a central component of the Makerspace in the Student Project House.

The big pros of this system are the following

  • Custom Programming
  • Flexible Machine Control
  • Wireless
  • Cheap
  • IoT integration
  • Any metric can be implemented

This screenshot of the user interface shows all of the different options for machine status that are available right now.

Furter information and contact

A comprehensive overview in form of a poster that was presented at ISAM 2017 can be found here.

For further information please contact us via acos@sph.ethz.ch.

Precious Plastic

Plastic is a resource, not waste!


Precious Plastic aims to find renewed purpose for all non-recycled and non-toxic plastics waste. Our aim currently involves creating the space and machines that enable us to give a new life to non-recycled plastics. Until now we built the shredder and the injector. We hope to inspire you to come build with us and create plastic products.

How Does it Work?

Based on the ideas of the founder of Precious Plastic, Dave Hakkens, we want to build a shredder, a compressor and an injector. This mechanical construction stage will take part at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 in parallel with mold making and idea generation. Once the machinery is up and running, the possibilities for products are endless. The main challenge will be to come up with the right idea.

We hope to expand on the ideas of Dave Hakkens and build products that can replace what would normally be purchased — therefore, actually recycling plastics to generate value in our daily lives and avoid generating new plastic. We hope to bring a space to ETH where (not only) students can learn, explore and expand the possibilities of plastic recycling.


Check out our website to keep up with our progress: preciousplasticzurich.ch
Write us an email if you have any questions:info@preciousplasticzurich.ch

chaze smart band

hand-wearable band to gain insights into your swim


we’re Beni, Julian, Consti and Ferdi from team CHAZE. With CHAZE, our mission is to inspire swimmers to reach their full potential.

Swimming is one of the technically most demanding sports. In order to effectively convert power into speed, many factors must work together in perfect harmony. And despite how many people do swimming as a sport, good feedback is difficult to find and doesn’t come cheap: Currently, swimmers have the option to either join a club or get private lessons. Both options are costly and don’t fit every swimmer’s desire for flexibility and independence.


That’s why we are developing a hand-wearable smart band. When a swimmer wears the band, the band’s sensors record the swimmer’s motion. This data allows our app to provide the swimmer with valuable feedback: An overview of the pace, distance, force and further metrics lets users check on their performance. A visualization and analysis of their stroke further lets them fine-tune their technique.


To help improve our data evaluation, we are looking for regular swimmers to swim with our prototype. If you are interested in participating or have any other inquiries, please reach out to us at chaze.sports@gmail.com


Modular furniture system


The people of today become increasingly more and more mobile and with that the requirements for living change as well. furniture is a integral part of our everyday lifes, but it doesn’t take into account how often people nowadays move places. existing furniture systems are often expensive, complicated in assembly and require special tools.

HaigĹŤ modular furniture system aims at creating a much more intuitive and pleasant user experience by taking the advantages of modular furniture, but eliminating the need for tools or any additional fasteners when putting it together and providing a more affordable, well-designed alternative to high-end designer pieces.

How Does it Work?

Taking inspiration from traditional japanese woodworking techniques, haigĹŤ works with a custom-designed interlocking wood joint mechanism which allows for quick assembly without any tools. Combining this traditional craft with modern cnc technologies, enables the fabrication of the wood joints with the same amount of precision as traditionally achieved with hand tools, at the same time significally reducing production time and cost.
The open shelving system consists of different-sized modules which can be combined and expanded, allowing for the user to adapt the furniture to his changing needs.