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About Me

I am a robotics research scientist at Johns Hopkins APL, where I work on multi-robot planning and the design of novel robot hardware. I recently graduated with my PhD from Penn. Although my degree was in Mechanical Engineering, I have broad experience in various aspects of robotics research.

My main research project at Penn was the development of the Variable Topology Truss (VTT) robot system. This is a modular robot system where each module is a linear actuator, and the modules are connected together to form a rigid truss. By actuating the length of each truss member, the whole truss can morph its shape and move around. Not only that, but the robot can self-reconfigure the connections between the truss members, allowing the robot to modify its topology beyond simple shape morphing (hence the name). For more details about this research, check out the VTT page on the Modlab website for general information and my personal page for my publications and blog posts about the robot.

Before pursuing my PhD at Penn, I got my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. At JHU, I led the Design, Build, Fly team, which designs fixed-wing RC aircraft for a competition. Other projects from that time include an attachment for a quadrotor to allow it to perch on tree branches and a pneumatic motor for MR-compatible medical robots.

Me with a VTT
Photo by Justin Nachea