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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  • 18 April 2017

    Our workshop Robotics-inspired biology has been accepted to IROS (28% workshop acceptance rate!). This workshop will be a full day of active discussion among robotics and biology researchers to explore research at this interface.

  • 12 April 2017

    We have received funding from the Army Research Office for a postdoctoral position to study low-mass legged locomotion. Interested applicants can learn more here

  • 11 January 2017

    I will be giving the biomechanics seminar at UCSD MAE on 1-12-2017. Location, SME, Room 248. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

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Graduate students: We will be seeking two graduate students for funded positions to start in Fall of 2018. Please contact PI Gravish if you are interested in joining the lab.

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

31. Robotics-inspired biology. N Gravish, G Lauder. Journal of Experimental Biology. 2017.    (In review).       Journal                     
30. A biologically inspired, flapping wing, hybrid aerial-aquatic microrobot. Y Chen, H Wang, EF Helbling, N Jafferis, R Zufferey, A Ong, K Ma, N Gravish, P Chirarattananon, M Kovac, RJ Wood. 2017.    (In review).       Journal                     
29. An Actuated Gaze Stabilization Platform for a Flapping-Wing Microrobot. S Mange, EF Helbling, N Gravish, RJ Wood. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). 2017.       Conference    PDF:                    
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