Theses in Robotics

From Intelligent Materials and Systems Lab


Projects in Advanced Robotics

The main objective of the follwing projects is to give students experience in working with advanced robotics tehcnology. Our group is active in several R&D projects involving human-robot collaboration, intuitive teleoperation of robots, and autonomous navigation of unmanned mobile platforms. Our main software platforms are Robot Operating System (ROS) for developing software for advanced robot systems and Gazebo for running realistic robotic simulations.

For further information, contact Karl Kruusamäe and Arun Kumar Singh

The following is not an exhaustive list of all available thesis/research topics.

Highlighted theses topics for 2020/2021 study year

  1. Web interface for Robotont, open-source robot
  2. User-study on human perception of a driverless vehicle's intent
  3. Modelling and prototyping smart urban mobility infrastructure
  4. ROS2 for robotont
  5. Digital twins in Gazebo and/or in Unity
  6. RoboCloud
  7. Making KUKA youBot user friendly again
  8. Social robot for neuro-rehabilitation

List of potential thesis topics

Our inventory includes but is not limited to:

ROS support, demos, and educational materials for open-source mobile robot ROBOTONT


The project involves many potential theses topic on open-source robot platform ROBOTONT. The nature of the thesis can be software development to improve the platform's capabilites, simulation of specific scenarios, and/or demonstration of ROBOTONT in real-life setting. A more detailed thesis topic will be outlined during in-person meeting

What is ROS?

Digital twins in Gazebo and/or in Unity

The objective of this thesis is to integrate robots available at the Institute of Technology in a single Gazebo simulation world to enable further software development and educational activities using these robots. The specific tasks within this thesis will include testing existing Gazebo packages of off-the-shelf robots and creating/improving simulation capabilities for other robots.
Gazebo NASA Robonaut simulation in Gazebo
Alternatively, this thesis could focus on creating a virtual reality representation of facilities and equipment at IMS-Robotics, e.g.,

Virtual reality user interface (VRUI) for intuitive teleoperation system

Detecting 2 hands with Leap Motion Controller

Enhancing the user-experience of a virtual reality UI developed by Georg Astok. Potentially adding virtual reality capability to a gesture- and natural-language-based robot teleoperation system.
Gesture-based teleoperation

Health monitor for intuitive telerobot

Intelligent status and error handling for an intuitive telerobotic system.

3D scanning of industrial objects

Using laser sensors and cameras to create accurate models of industrial products for quality control or further processing.

Modeling humans for human-robot interaction

True human-robot collaboration means that the robot must understand the actions, intention, and state of its human partner. This work invovlves using cameras and other human sensors for digitally representing and modelling humans. There are multiple stages for modeling: a) physical models of human kinematics and dynamics; b) higher level-models for recognizing human intent.
ROS & Kinect & Skeleton-Markers Package

Robotic avatar for telepresence

Integrating hand gestures and head movements to control a robot avatar in virtual reality user interface.

ROS driver for Artificial Muscle actuators

Desigining a controller box and writing software for interfacing artificial muscle actuators [1, 2] ROS.

Detection of hardware and software resources for smart integration of robots

Vast majority of today’s robotic applications rely on hard-coded device and algorithm usage. This project focuses on developing a Resource Snooper software, that can detect addition or removal of resources for the benefit of dynamic reconfiguration of robotic systems. This project is developed as a subsystem of TeMoto.

Sonification of feedback during teleoperation of robots

Humans are used to receiving auditory feedback in their everyday lives. It helps us make decision and be aware of potential dangers. Telerobotic interfaces can deploy the same idea to improve the Situational Awareness and robotic task efficiency. The thesis project involves a study about different sonification solutions and implementation of it in a telerobotic application using ROS.

Human-Robot and Robot-Robot collaboration applications

Creating a demo or analysis of software capabilities related to human-robot or tobot-robot teams

  • human-robot collaborative assembly
  • distributed mapping; analysis and demo of existing ROS (e.g., segmap packages for multi-robot mapping
  • Inaccessible region teamwork
    • youbot+drone - a drone maps the environment (for example a maze) and ground vehicle uses this information to traverse the maze
    • youbot+clearbot - youbot cannot go up ledges but it can lift smaller robot, such as clearbot, up a ledge.

Developing ROS driver for a robotic gripper

The goal for this project is to develop ROS drivers for LEHF32K2-64 gripper. The work is concluded by demonstrating the functionalities of the gripper via pick-and-place task.
SMC LEHF32K2-64 gripper.

Mirroring human hand movements on industrial robots

The goal of this project is to integrate continuous control of industrial robot manipulator with a gestural telerobotics interface. The recommended tools for this thesis project are Leap Motion Controller or a standard web camera, Ultraleap, Universal Robot UR5 manipulator, and ROS.

ROS2 for robotont

Creating ROS2 support for robotont mobile platform

TeMoto for robotont

Swarm-management for robotont using TeMoto framework.

Making KUKA youBot user friendly again

This thesis focuses on integrating the low-level software capabilities of KUKA youBot in order to achieve high-level commonly used functionalities such as

  • teach mode - robot can replicate user demonstrated trajectories
  • end-effector jogging
  • gripper control
  • gamepad integration - user can control the robot via gamepad
  • web integration - user can control the robot via internet browser

The thesis is suitable for both, master and bachelor levels, as the associated code can be scaled up to generic "user-friendly control" package.

Enhancing teleoperation control interface with augmented cues to provoke caution

The task is to create a telerobot control interface where video feed from the remote site and/or a mixed-reality scene is augmented with visual cues to provoke caution in human operator.

Robot-to-human interaction

As robots and autonomous machines start sharing the same space a humans, their actions need to be understood by the people occupying the same space. For instance, a human worker needs to understand what the robot partner is planning next or a pedestrian needs to clearly comprehend the behaviour of a driverless vehicle. To reduce the ambiguity, the robot needs mechanisms to convey its intent (whatever it is going to do next). The aim of the thesis is to outline existing methods for machines to convey their intent and develop a unified model interface for expressing that intent.

Gaze-based handover prediction

When human needs to pass an object to a robot manipulator, the robot must understand where in 3D space the object handover occurs and then plan an appropriate motion. Human gaze can be used as the input for predicting which object to track. This thesis activities involve camera-based eye tracking and safe motion-planning.


Setting up a system that allows booking time on a physical but networked remote robot to validate and test robot software. The thesis involves system administration and front-end development.

Social robot for neuro-rehabilitation

Customizing humanoid robot to assist doctors and psychologist during children's speech training sessions.

Modelling and prototyping smart urban mobility infrastructure

The aim is to evaluate and prototype a static sensor setup (3D LiDARs) to reduce perception overhead of an autonomously driving agent

Digital twin of a traffic roundabout in Tartu

The main objective of this thesis is to build a virtual testbed for developing Smart Urban Mobility Infrastructure concepts for driverless vehicles and related services. Thesis project involves mapping a roundabout and constructing a digital twin consisting of roads, road marking, roadside objects, traffic signs, etc. The likely tools used for building the digital twin: Unity, CARLA, LGSVL, Gazebo, etc.

User-study on human perception of a driverless vehicle's intent

The objective of this thesis is to investigate how people would interpret the actions of a driverless vehicle in real-life scenario.

Real-world demonstrator for MIR+UR+TeMoto integration

Integration of mobile manipulator (MIR100 + UR5e + Robotiq gripper) to demonstrate TeMoto in a collaborative application.

Web interface for Robotont, open-source robot

Webpage-based front end to control and configure Robotont robots.

Completed projects

Masters's theses

Bachelor's theses