S. (Salua) Hamaza

S. (Salua) Hamaza



Research interests are in two main areas:   aerial physical interaction and   embodied intelligence in aerial robots. Salua is interested in the design and morphology of interacting aerial robots, and their implications in flight performance and autonomy. Types of aerial interaction tasks include: manipulation, placement of objects in the environment, dynamic grasping, perching, locomotion.        
Recurring themes are mechanical compliance, design of actuators, compliant control theory, kinematics and dynamics of multi-DoFs mechanisms for aerial robots, bio-inspired morphology & sensing, soft manipulation.


Prof. Salua Hamaza is Assistant Professor in Aerial Robotics & Director of the BioMorphic Intelligence Lab at TU Delft, Netherlands. She is also Research Fellow at Imperial College London, Aerial Robotics Lab. Her research focuses on the development of compliant aerial robots capable of interacting with objects and the environment for manipulation (primarily), and locomotion. Her robotic solutions take inspiration from biological systems for flying and interaction tasks, leveraging compliance in hardware and software to advance aerial robotsā€™ autonomy. 

Previously, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Aerial Robotics Laboratory,  Imperial College London, United Kingdom. She obtained her Ph.D. in Robotics and Autonomous Systems from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, University of Bristol, in 2019.  She was visiting researcher at the GRVC at University of Seville, Spain, during 2018. Prior to the PhD she was researcher at RAM at University of Twente, Netherlands. She received the MSc degree from the University of Bologna and TU Delft. 

She is recipient of the 3rd prize Best UK PhD in Robotics, 2019 edition, and of 2 Best Paper Awards from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. She is Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Aerial & Field Robotics. Since 2021, she is the TU Delft Aerospace Engineering awardee of a new research lab - BioMorphic Intelligence Lab - leading a team of 6 PhD students.

Check out my publications on: 


  • Best Paper Award - IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2022 Workshop on Robotics for Nuclear Environments Exploration and Decommissioning: Challenges and Emerging Techniques;
  • Best Paper Award, finalist - IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2020 Workshop on Perception, Planning and Mobility in Forestry Robotics;
  • Best PhD in Robotics in the UK Award 2019, 3rd prize;
  • Best Paper Award in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, awarded at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2017;
  • Patent: Manipulation Control System (inventor). Filed by the University of Bristol (UK) 2017.
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    • 2023-8-3

      Veni grant AES 2022

      Luchtrobots in een tastbare wereld: Drones met tastzin handelen op hun omgeving

      Drones zijn tot nu toe vooral ā€œogen in de luchtā€. Om echter het volle potentieel van drones te benutten zal het nodig zijn dat ze ook fysieke interactie hebben met hun omgeving. Daarom zullen in dit project drones worden voorzien van het zintuig van tast, waarbij de focus niet alleen ligt op de bediening van ledematen, maar juist ook op het soepele en zachte ontwerp hiervan. Hierdoor worden drones slimmer op lichaam- en sensorniveau, en kunnen ze zich beter redden in moeilijke situaties, bijvoorbeeld in rokerige of donkere omgevingen in een brandend gebouw, dankzij de mensachtige tastzin.

    • 2023

      NWO VENI AES 2022

      Nowadays, drones are mainly used as 'eyes in the sky'. Yet, they are the only robots incapable of physical contact. While it is exactly through physical contact that we, humans, manipulate objects and the surroundings to create, and give shape, to our world.
      To utilise the full potential of drones, they can be provided with the sense of touch and facilitate a number of tasks for our society: from maintaining infrastructure assets at height, to helping ecologists with data gathering in vast forest areas, to exploring new terrains and environments inaccessible to humans. To achieve this, I will implement new designs of aerial robots that exploit mechanical compliance to achieve physical interaction with their surroundings. Such designs will be complemented by novel interaction control algorithms that rely on richer information on the sense of touch, so to realise safe and reliable operations in the real world. Thanks to this project, drones will be able to finally deliver a tangible impact in our society.

    • 2022

      Best Paper Award - IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

      IROS 2022

    • 2022

      TUDelft AI Lab Fellowship - BioMorphic Intelligence Lab

      1 mil EUR

    • 2020

      Best Paper Award, finalist - IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

      IROS 2020

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