• 11/2020: Haijie defended his PhD research titled “Biologically Inspired Perching for Aerial Robots”. Congratulations, Dr. Zhang!
  • 11/2020: We publish a paper in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics to leverage mechanical intelligence for aerial perching (New Atlas).

  • 09/2020: We were granted a patent on the bistable gripper for aerial grasping and perching.
  • 07/2020: We publish a paper in Soft Robotics to demonstrate how twisted-and-coiled actuators can enable soft robots with programmable motions (CSU News)
  • 05/2020: We publish a paper in Science Advances to demonstrate how elastic instability can enhance the performance of soft robots (Lead by Prof. Yin at NCSU).
  • 03/2020: Together with Opterus R&D, we receive a STTR grant from DARPA to investigate self-reconfigurable ground robots.


  • 12/2019: Haijie passed his preliminary exam, and Jiefeng passed his qualify exam. Congratulations!
  • 10/2019: We publish a paper in Science Advances to unravel the coupled mechanical and computational intelligence in the upside-down landing of flies (Lead by Dr. Cheng at PennState).
  • 08/2019: Ben Pawlowski defended his master thesis on “Modeling, Simulation, and Control of Soft Robots”. During his stay in the lab, Ben has published 1 journal paper and 4 peer-reviewed conference papers.
  • 04/2019: Our group members have recently won several awards (congratulations to all!):
    • Brandon Tighe has won the 2nd place in Multicultural Undergraduate Research Art and Leadership Symposium (MURALS) as well as the junior researcher award on E-days.
    • Jordan Julian has won the high honors in Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase (CURC) for his research on walking robots.
    • The NASA robotic mining team supervised by Dr. Zhao has been selected as the 1st place Mechanical Engineering Senior Design project.
  • 02/2019: We participate in the annual open house hosted by the Little Shop of Physics (LSOP) as a Science partner, showcasing our robots to more than 8,000 visitors.
  • 02/2019: Our recent research on reconfigurable robots is described in IEEE spectrum robotics blog.


  • 10/2018: Jiefeng and Ben’s paper on embedded shape morphing using twisted-and-coiled actuators is selected as a finalist for the best student paper in the 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
  • 08/2018: We received a grant from NSF to investigate vision guided perching for small flying robots, collaborating with Dr. Bo Cheng at Penn State. Thanks NSF for the support!
  • 05/2018: We received the Research Initiation Award from National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate embedded and continuous shape morphing using twisted-and-coiled actuators. Thanks NSF for the support!
  • 01/2018: Anthony Demario defended his master thesis on “3D printable walking robot with soft joints and links”.

2017 & Before

  • 12/2017: Ali Abbas defended his master thesis on “Modeling of Twisted and Coiled Artificial Muscle for Actuation and Self-Sensing”.
  • 08/2015: Established the Adaptive Robotics Lab at the Energy Institute of Colorado State University.