TTÜ professor of biorobotics Maarja Kruusmaa elected Member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences
On 7 December, the General Assembly of the Estonian Academy of Sciences elected professor Maarja Kruusmaa, Head of the Centre for Biorobotics at the Tallinn University of Technology, a Member of the Academy.
Maarja Kruusmaa’s research area is nature-inspired robotics, in particular underwater robotics. Under Kruusmaa’s direction, cooperation projects involving researchers from Estonia and abroad have developed several prototypes: a robotic fish with an artificial lateral line, a turtle-like underwater robot designed for underwater archeologists, and an artificial kidney intended for residents for practicing purposes.
One of the areas where the artificial lateral line technology can be applied is analysing fishways in rivers. The robotic turtle can be used in underwater archeology for exploring shipwrecks and other submerged sites that are dangerous and difficult to access. The artificial kidney is used by robotic surgeons and medical students to practice their professional skills.
The main challenges today include further development of the existing technologies, shaping them into products and exploring their application areas. Currently, a project for developing novelty sensors inspired by the lateral lines of fish is underway, offering marine scientists new and improved methods for exploring deep sea currents. The sensors that are being developed in this project have already been found to be useful in a comprehensive array of application areas, with potential developments in monitoring ports and surveying water distribution networks in cities, etc.
Prof. Kruusmaa also heads the Centre of Excellence in Information Technology EXCITE, which aims to unite all ICT fields in Estonia from hardware to software with a special focus on creating fault tolerant and secure IT solutions.
Maarja Kruusmaa is the founder and head of the TTÜ Centre for Biorobotics. Established in 2008, the centre is an international pool of advanced and young researchers who have joined the team from across the globe in order to make their contribution to science here. More than fifty researchers and engineers have worked at the centre since its creation.
Kruusmaa holds a degree on computers and computer networks from the Tallinn University of Technology and defended her doctoral thesis at the Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden). She has more than a hundred scientific publications and has supervised ten doctoral theses defended at TTÜ, the Estonian Academy of Arts and at Tartu University.
Prof. Kruusmaa is a co-holder of a number of patents – for instance, on a virtual fitting room for online shopping.
Additional information: TTÜ Centre for Biorobotics