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

(PI) Nick Gravish
Associate Professor


I am interested in movement dynamics in biology and robotics. I am driven by developing new methods for analysis and generation of locomotion using tools from robotics, computer vision, and physics.


  • Postdoctoral scholar at Harvard University (2013 - 2016)
    • School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
    • Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
    • Advisers: Robert J. Wood and Stacey A. Combes
  • Ph.D. in Physics at Georgia Tech (2008 - 2013)
    • Thesis: Collective dynamics of active and passive granular media
    • Minor: Mechanics of materials
    • Adviser: Daniel I. Goldman
  • B.S. in Physics at UC Santa Barbara (2001 - 2005)
    • Undergraduate Research Honors, 2004 & 2005


Emily Lathrop

Emily is co-advised by Prof. Tolley. She is working on developing new soft-robotic technologies for robot mobility on granular and real-world substrates.

James Lynch

James is studying the interaction between aerodynamic forces and compliant actuators in a dynamically scaled flapping wing robot.

Wei Zhou

Wei is working on the design of low-mass legged robots for collective exploration in extreme environments.

Shivam Chopra

Shivam is working on self-excited piezoelectric actuators for robust and multi-modal (swimming, running, flying) locomotion in insect scale robots.

Mingsong Jiang

Jason (Minsong) Jiang is developing new laminate-based technologies for bio-inspired robots.


Caitlin Le

Drago Vasile

Ignatius Widjaja

Jiansong Wang

Qifan Yu

Former students

Glenna Clifton


Currently: Assistant Professor University of Portland

Glenna worked in the lab for three years studying legged locomotion of ants on complex, three-dimensional terrain.

Henry Chang


Thesis: Virtual leg compliance improves swing-phase collision response when walking on uneven ground

Sayan Mondal


Thesis: Design and analysis of a kirigami-based two-finger micro-gripper
Currently: Masters student CMU

Bowen Zhang


Thesis: Automated Three-Dimensional Body Orientation Reconstruction And Motion Tracking With Two Views During Avoidance Maneuver of Bumblebee

Mengxi (Marcy) Ren


Thesis: A Voice Coil Based Vibration Platform for Micro Robots Application
Currently: Engineer Wavemaker labs

Amartya Bhattacharyya


Thesis: Locomotion performance of hexapod robots on rough substrates and the influence of leg compliance

Axel Qin


Thesis: A three-axis force platform design for cockroach incline climbing analysis

Rahul Shurpurkar


Thesis: Study of Hexapod Locomotion over Uniformly Structured Terrain

Shuhang Zhang


Thesis: A Monolithic Fabrication of Pouch Actuated Soft Robots
Currently: PhD student EPFL

Yash Jawanjal


Thesis: Angular displacement sensing and joint position localization using stretchable fiber-optic sensors in soft flexo-structures

Yudong Wei


Thesis: Synchronization through Manipulation - Indirectly Coupled Oscillating Walking Robots

Zhuonan Hao


Thesis: Design principles for locomotion synchronization in undulatory robot groups
Currently: PhD student UCLA

Daniel Ortiz


Thesis: Soft Robot Actuation Strategies for Locomotion in Granular Substrates
Currently: Engineer at Cymer

Amio Das


Caitrin Duffy-Deno


Currently: Structural Aerospace Engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center

Eugene Lin


Currently: PhD student at Johns Hopkins

Jaquelin Dezha-Peralta


Currently: Research technician Harvard Medical School

Justin Chang


Currently: Technician Scripps Institute underwater robotics

Matt Mcdaniel


Currently: Engineer at ASML

Rouyu Sun


Currently: PhD Student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Siming Deng


Currently: PhD student at Johns Hopkins

Jhonathan Bituin


Jeremy Lu


Dennis Wu

  (Lab tech)

Currently: Engineer at Nanocore