Center for Biorobotics

In 2009, I received Erasmus scholarship to Estonia for my final year of Bachelor degree in Mechatronics. I started to work at the Center for Biorobotics lead by Maarja Kruusmaa. The lab’s goal is to conduct multidisciplinary research on the borderline of biology and engineering. I spent two great semesters working on robotics projects.
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Rob.arts is an interactive social game, where players can experience first-hand the challenges and excitement of controlling virtual robots in real time. The game is designed to provide an easy approach to the art of programming; no previous experience is required. Robots behave according to the player’s specifications, but may incur in “mistakes”. A friendly feel to the visuals makes our game also suited for audiences that demand

The paper was presented at ISEARuhr 2010.

I received Erasmus scholarship to Estonia for my final year of Bachelor degree on Mechatronics. I started to work at the Center for Biorobtics and I was given a task to develop a flexible robotic fish by using novel materials.

advisers: Maria-Camilla Fiazza, Madis Listak, Andres Ernts

The goal of the research was to develop a biologically inspired robot fish using non-rigid material combination as a realization of the flexible body. The robot was equipped with only one actuator (servo motor), but with the smart material choice (silicon composition) and body shape the actuation was propagated along the backbone which resulted in a surprisingly fish-like swimming pattern. The fish was able to swim autonomously as well as coordinated from outside by changing the three parameters of the servo (amplitude, offset and frequency). During the experiments different shaped and stiffed caudal-fins were tried out and examined with regard the fish’s performance. The idea of Braitenberg’s vehicles (simple-wired vehicles showing rich behavior) was implemented. Moreover, a theoretical concept was developed as a possible solution of integrating robot fish to real environment.

read Chapter1: Motivation


I continued working with Kärt and in the beginning of 2010 the concept of SymboisisW was born. We got accepted to Pixelache Helsinki 2010 exhibition.

SymbiosisW is a three-dimentional material constructed of hexagonal cells. It senses human touch and – as a response – small cell-patterns start to grow out under the person’s hand. While keeping the hand against the object, the motive spreads; it also enables to create the desired arrangements of pattern. Touch is one of the strongest intermediary, however, in the same time very personal and intimate.

robeo & robia

Robeo likes Robia, who is only enchanted by light. Robeo’s sensory system (two IR receiver) was triggered by modulated IR light that was placed on robia’s “tail”. Robia was equipped with two photo transistors, and she was “looking for” lighter areas. Both of the vehicles also had proximity sensors for avoiding collision.

The idea comes from the Braitenberg vehicle’s – robots in which the sensor reading control actuation through a per-defined map. The result is rich reactive behavior that is nicely and strongly tied to the environment. Braitenberg Vehicles : Experiments in synthetic psychology.


Guerilla woodpecker disturbs public signposts and light poles They swing down after the first stroke. Started in kibu, finished at the Center for Biorobotics.

meeting Kärt Ojavee

I met the textile artist Kärt Ojavee at the Center for Biorobotics. She was a Candidate for PHd in the Estonian Art Academia, and as her interest focused in smart textiles, she became a member of the biorobotics lab. I started to help her for her the exhibition [“Undefined Useful Objects”] in Tallinn, December 2009, by the end of the year we became good friends. This lead to our project, SymbisosiO – a fruit of our collaboration.

pollution visualization by changing patterns

Our idea behind this object was to imitate the traffic lights infiltrated through the window.