WHY project at Zientzia Azoka 2021

The Zientzia Azoka 2021 science fair took place yesterday morning in Bilbao. It is a yearly space that fosters scientific communication and dissemination among high school students and is open to all audiences. Students between 12 and 18 years old but also professional researchers from Basque universities have exhibited their scientific projects in this fair organized by the Elhuyar Foundation.

General view of the fair.

This year the WHY project, which I am involved in, has been selected to represent the research conducted by the University of Deusto at the fair. It has been a very exciting experience in which we have explained to the curious audience that visited our stand the intense work we have been carrying out since the WHY project started in September last year.

People approaching our stand.

WHY is a 3-year project funded by the European Union that aims to model residential energy consumption based on behavior. We have already processed, analyzed and clustered the load profiles (electricity consumption versus time) of tens of thousands of households and now we are collecting extra information to complete our data.

At this fair, we have introduced a Telegram bot that we just developed to monitor the use of household devices. By scanning a set of QR codes placed near certain appliances, our bot deploys real-time surveys to the volunteers. The bot will then ask them questions regarding the choices they have made. It is also possible that we will use the bot to send personalized usage recommendations so that we can intervene in the behavior as well. In exchange, we will use the answers to learn about people’s energy consumption habits.

People activating the Telegram bot with the QR codes.

You can activate the bot on your cell phone directly with this QR code. You need to have the Telegram app installed!

QR code to activate the Telegram bot.

As a conclusion, the fair was a success in terms of attendance. During the four hours that the event lasted, we attended about fifty people who showed their interest in our project.