The science & engineering of
dynamic & dexterous movement
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC San Diego


We aim to further the scientific understanding of movement and manipulation in biological systems and to apply this knowledge towards new engineering paradigms in robot design, fabrication, and control. To accomplish this we work at the intersections of robotics, physics, and biology. Our current focus is on movement and manipulation in milli-scale robot and biological systems. We develop new fabrication techniques for construction of robots at millimeter scales. Experiments with agile and dexterous organisms can aid in developing intuition and understanding of effective movement strategies at small scales.

  • Micro-robotics fabrication
  • Mechanism design for stable, dynamic movement
  • Biomechanics of rapid flight maneuvers
  • Manipulation in biology
  • Swarm robots and biology
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  • 28 July 2019

    Shivam’s paper has been accepted to Smart Materials and Structures.

  • 20 May 2019

    I am excited to be speaking at the Workshop on Locomotion and Navigation from Flies to Robots at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics. Should be really fun! More info here.

  • 1 April 2019

    We were awarded an Innovative Research Grant from the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind. Thi initiates a collaboration between our lab and neuroscientist Dhruv Grover towards precision design of high-speed tracking optics for animal flight studies. Press announcement can be found here.

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Graduate students: We encourage interested students to contact PI Gravish about potential opportunities.

Post-docs: We do not currently have any funded post-doctoral positions however students who are interested can contact PI Gravish to discuss co-applying for post-doctoral funding.

Undergrads: We are happy to have talented undergraduates work with graduate students on indendent research projects. Contact PI Gravish with an email to get more information.

Recent papers

40. Flexoskeleton printing for versatile insect-inspired robots. M Jiang, Z Zhou, N Gravish. 2019.    (In Review).       Journal                     
39. Rough substrates constrain walking speed in ants but not due to large limb perturbations. G Clifton, D Holway, N Gravish. 2019.    (In Review).       Journal                     
38. Indirect actuation reduces flight power requirements in Manduca sexta via elastic energy exchange. J Gau, N Gravish, S Sponberg. 2019.    (In Review).       Journal                     
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