Project openings in the Animal Inspired Motion and Robotics Laboratory (AIM-RL):

P1: Effect of gravity on high-speed spider locomotion 

We will study the kinematics and dynamics of rapid running in wolf spiders at a variety of inclines (level ground, vertical, upside down, sideways). This work will inform and inspire the design of spider-inspired microrobot. Familiarity/desire of working with spiders is required.


P2: Towards the design of a spider inspired robot  

We aim to design an eight-legged robot that is capable of multimodal locomotion (running, climbing, etc). As the first step, this research involves extensive design and laminate manufacturing work in developing multi segmented, actively actuated origami-based leg mechanisms. The project will focus on experimenting and characterizing different material leg joints and joint patterns. Focusing on the optimization of current leg modules and improving the performance of current systems. The system will be manufactured using laminate micromachining with our femtosecond laser. A strong background in kinematics, machine design or origami is desired. 


P3:  Advancing robotic control and sensing electronics 

Control and sensing electronics are at the heart of every robotic system, and therefore are a major research area of the lab.  We are currently designing and fabricating a suite of printed circuit boards (PCB) that will enable our robotic platforms to navigate their environment autonomously.  This work will require designing PCBs in EE CAD software (Altium or Eagle), rapidly prototyping PCBs on CNC machinery, assembling surface mount components and testing for functionality.  A background in electrical engineering is desired. 


P4:  Towards more autonomous robots  

Intelligent software is a key component in robots that can perform tasks effectively and autonomously.  This work will encompass the implementation of custom feedback controllers, navigational algorithms and hardware drivers on a variety of crawling and flying robotic systems. Additionally, students will help with management of source control and implementing coding conventions to improve lab collaboration and software reuse.  A background in computer science, or familiarity with GIT, Python and embedded C programming is desired.



  • Undergraduate and Masters students at all levels are welcome. The technical requirements and background vary by project. Please reach out to Prof. Jayaram for further details.  
  • Able to work independently given high-level independence. 
  • Able to commit between 5-10 hours a week as required. May be considered for independent study credits or thesis design projects. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills desired (potentially for publications).


If interested: 

Please apply directly via email to Prof. Kaushik Jayaram at Please enclose with your email a copy of your latest resume or CV, and a brief statement on why you are interested in the opportunity.