Tallinn University of Technology

College living lab

Teaching cyber physical systems requires the opportunity to observe and study a cyber physical system in a study environment. At Tartu College campus (buildings, people and IT solutions) such a system can be accessed the best. It has all the necessary properties, and we can plan its functions and the experiments ourselves. During our study and research, we are located in the middle of the campus everyday life, therefore, we can observe the processes easily. We can receive first-hand feedback and students can evaluate many things based on their personal experience. We call the study and research environment a living lab. The living lab is different from a conventional lab by not having to create an artificial environment to study single processes.  

A living lab means observing a building as a system of networks communicating with each other. The networks are for example the physical thermal network of the building, energy distribution network, the network of sensors and actuators, the network of people. Thus, we develop methods to simulate, model and check the networks together with applications to minimise the energy consumption of the building ensuring suitable indoor climate for people at the same time. 


3D ja drones

The 3D and drone laboratory enables to carry out aerial mapping and aerial thermography with a drone, AR and VR applications, 3D modelling as polygonal modelling or on the basis of photogrammetry. The laboratory is used in the cyber physical systems study and research projects, and cooperation is carried out with structural engineering, and industrial ecology study programmes.  

A study area of the laboratory is the spatial modelling of physical world with the help of different methods (mainly photogrammetry) and presenting and experiencing models in a virtual room. Smaller (the size of a palm) and bigger objects (structures) and areas (landscapes and city districts) can be modelled.  

Areas of activity of the laboratory

  • Aerial imaging and mapping (RGB, IR, NIR)  
  • UAV photogrammetry and close-range photogrammetry   
  • 3D modelling and 3D data processing (incl. point clouds)   
  • AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) applications   
  • GIS operations (vector and raster data)   

For additional information, contact Rinaldo Rüütli rinaldo.ruutli@taltech.ee

Have a look at what the laboratory looks like in the 360-degree photos HERE and HERE


  • DJI Matrice 100 
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro

  • DJI Zenmuse XT 
  • Micasense Rededge 
  • Sony a7R III 
  • KanDao QooCam 

  • 3ds Max 
  • Agisoft Metashape 
  • CloudCompare 
  • ArcGIS Pro 
  • MapInfo 

  • HTC Vive Pro 
  • Microsoft Hololens 
  • bHaptics Tactsuit 

Communication and electronics

Communications and electronics laboratories are the study environments used to carry out laboratory works in the cyber physical systems study programme to make sure the knowledge of modern communication methods has been acquired within different courses like Electronics and Sensors and actuators systems engineering. 


Mainly, the laboratory is used to create telecommunications using different cable communications solutions and high-frequency electromagnetic waves. To support the living lab, the focus is on the creation of local networks with low energy consumption using low-speed data transmission technologies. Also, the communications laboratory can be used to carry out telematics projects. 


During the course of Sensors and Actuators Systems Technologies six sets for practical work have been created which enable students to test different sensors and actuators using the Arduino Nano board as a micro controller. In the Electronics course during practical work, the students acquire the knowledge of using oscilloscopes, multimeters, and signal generators in real-life environment. In addition to that in the laboratory it is possible to carry out projects connected with electronics to support for example their final theses.  

Industrial ecology

In the Tartu College industrial ecology laboratory, the study of sustainable technologies and the recycling and reuse of different materials is carried out. The equipment of the laboratory is diverse, and it allows to do different experiments and study samples for study and research, and as a subcontracted work.   

In our laboratory it is possible:  

  • to study the nutritional values of solid fuels (incl. plastic, plastic waste, biomass, wood, peat, and refuse-derived fuel), and different food products and fodder with the help of a bomb-calorimeter; 
  • to determine the biomass of microbial community, basal respiration from substrate, also BHT7 and KHT from sewage using the OxiTop® manometric measurement system; 
  • to carry out the water absorption and sorption tests of different materials (clay, paper plaster, straw) in a climate chamber; 
  • to analyse the gas volumes (O2, CO2 and CH4) changing over time in soil, sewage sludge, compost, plants, and foodstuff;  
  • to determine the enzymatic activity of different elements and compounds in substrates. 

 If you are interested in the field of activity of the laboratory or want to cooperate, contact Jane Raamets (jane.raamets@taltech.ee). 

Structural engineering

Tartu College has building materials and soil mechanics and building physics laboratories to instruct structural engineering students and do research. Mainly, we deal with the hygrothermal properties of materials and the studies of construction concrete (the Form-Test machine compressive strength test load max 2000 kN and bending strength test load max100 kN). The equipment of the laboratories enables to determine the indoor climate parameters (air temperature, relative humidity, CO2, luminance, sun radiation, noise, ventilation air flow), the thermal properties of borders (thermal transmittance, temperature and moisture regime in the border, thermography) and building airtightness (Minneapolis Blower Door).  

Soil mechanics testing equipment (fully automatic oedometer and semi-automatic shear test machine, Casagrande apparatus, and areometers) has been used in the laboratory since 2018. Two identical houses for carrying out tests are the additions from the beginning of 2021. It is possible to test building materials and do comparative studies of building physics in two houses at the same time. 

We cooperate with the laboratory of industrial ecology (climate chamber and microbiological studies), and the living lab and the 3D and drones laboratory (thermal imaging with drones and indoor climate monitoring). 

Contact Associate Professor Aime Ruus aime.ruus@taltech.ee 

Have a look at the 360-degree photos of the laboratory: 

Building materials and soil mechanics 1

Building materials and soil mechanics 2

Building materials and soil mechanics 3

Building materials and soil mechanics 4

Building physics

Test house 1

Test house 2