© 2017 by ELLIOT HAWKES

Hawkes Group

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Hawkes Group 

Our research focuses on the intersection of design, mechanics, and materials. We develop novel mechanisms and apply non-traditional materials to solve challenging problems in robotics, medicine, and biomechanics.

Quick Updates

  • September 2019: EFRI C3 SoRo: Overcoming Challenges in Control of Continuum Soft is awarded. Looking forward to working with Profs. Megan Valentine, Igor Mezic, Javier Read de Alaniz, and Mike Gordon on this!

  • September 2019: ‘Connecting the legs with a spring improves human running economy’ on the cover of JEB volume 222 issue 17. Congrats to Cole Simpson, lead author.

  • August 2019: NRI: INT: COLLAB: Mesh Of Robots on a Pneumatic Highway (MORPH): An Untethered, Human-Safe, Shape-Morphing Robotic Platform is awarded. Looking forward to working with Profs. Sean Follmer and Mac Schwager on this!

  • July 2019: US Patent Granted: "Surface grasping mechanism using directional adhesives."  Patent No. 10,220,520.

  • July 2019: US Patent Granted: “Enhancing ground reaction forces beyond friction using dry adhesives." Patent No. 10,011,010.

  • June 2019: "Characterizing Environmental Interactions of Soft Growing Robots" is accepted to IROS 2019 in Macau, lead author David Haggerty. Congrats, David!

  • June 2019: "Energy Harvesting across Temporal Temperature Gradients using Vaporization" is accepted to IROS 2019 in Macau, lead author Charles Xiao. Congrats, Charlie!

  • May 2019: "Pilot Study of Cadence, a Novel Shoe for Patients with Foot Drop" is accepted to the 2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society, lead author Arlette Evora. Congrats, Arlette!

  • May 2019: US Patent Granted: "Controllable Adhesive on Conformable Film for Non-flat surface," with Mark Cutkosky and David Christensen. Patent No. 10,316,220.

  • April 2019: US Patent Granted: "Wolverine: A wearable haptic interface for grasping in virtual reality," with Sean Follmer and Inrak Choi. Patent No. 10,248,201.

  • April 2019: Nicholas Naclerio wins the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program award. Congrats, Nicholas!

  • April 2019: Nicholas Naclerio also wins the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. Congrats again, Nicholas!

  • March 2019: "Grasping Without Squeezing: Design and Modeling of Shear-Activated Grippers" wins the 2019 IEEE Transactions on Robotics King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award! Congrats all co-authors!

  • February 2019: "Spatially variant microstructured adhesive with one-way friction" published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, lead author Arul Suresh. Congrats, Arul!

  • January 2019: "Low-cost, Continuously Variable, Strain Wave Transmission Using Gecko-inspired Adhesives" is published online in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, lead author, Nicholas Naclerio. Congrats, Nicholas! 

  • November 2018: "A Soft, Steerable Continuum Robot That Grows via Tip Extension" is published online in Soft Robotics, lead author Joey Greer. Congrats Joey!

  • July 2018: "Soft Robotic Burrowing Device with Tip-Extension and Granular Fluidization" is accepted to IROS 2018 in Madrid, lead author Nicholas Naclerio. Congrats Nicholas!

  • June 2018: Congrats to Spencer, Joe, Ryan, Kira, and Harrison for Most Innovative Senior Capstone project! Their Rehabilitation Crib for children with Cerebral Palsy is really impressive.

  • May 2018: "Design of Materials and Mechanisms for Responsive Robots," co-authored by Mark Cutkosky, is published online in the Annual Reviews, available here.

  • April 2018: "Toward the Design of Personalized Continuum Surgical Robots" is accepted to for publication in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, lead author Dr. Tania Morimoto. Congrats Tania!

  • February 2018: UCSB Robotics is Live! UCSB Robotics brings together faculty, students, and visitors affiliated with departments across the UC Santa Barbara campus. The group facilitates cooperation in robotic systems, design, and control and their various interdisciplinary applications.

  • February 2018: "Helical actuation on a soft inflated robot body" is accepter to IEEE Robosoft 2018 in Livorno, Italy, lead author Laura Blumenschein. Congrats Laura!

  • January 2018: "Obstacle-AidedNavigation of a Soft Growing Robot" is accepted to IEEE ICRA 2018 in Brisbane, Australia, lead author Joey Greer. Congrats Joey!

  • January 2018: "A Tip-Extending SoftRobot Enables Reconfigurable and Deployable Antennas" is accepted to IEEE ICRA 2018 in Brisbane, Australia AND IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, lead author Laura Blumenschein and Lucia Gan. Congrats Laura and Lucia! 

  • January 2018: "APAM: Antagonistic Pneumatic Artificial Muscle" is accepted to IEEE ICRA 2018 in Brisbane, Australia, lead author Nathan Usevitch. Congrats Nathan!

  • January 2018: "HapWRAP: Soft Growing Wearable Haptic Device" is accepted to IEEE ICRA 2018 in Brisbane, Australia, lead author Nathaniel Agharese. Congrats Nathaniel!

  • December 2017: "Grasping Without Squeezing: Design and Modeling of Shear-Activated Grippers," is published online in IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

  • November 2017: "Design of a Compact Actuation and Control System for Flexible Medical Robots," is accepted to IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, lead author Tania Morimoto. Congrats Tania!

  • September 2017: "A Soft, Controllable, High Force Density Linear Brake Utilizing Layer Jamming," is accepted to IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, lead author Inrak Choi. Congrats Inrak!

  • August 2017: "A Tip-extending Catheter for Endovascular Surgery," a poster with Dr. Tania Morimoto of UCSD and Dr. Jeremy Heit of Stanford Hospital, accepted for IROS 2017.

  • July 2017: Our soft robot is featured in the SF Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal.

  • July 2017: Our soft robot made the July cover of Soft Robotics.

  • July 2017: "A soft robot that navigates its environment through growth" is published in Science Robotics (full text link).

  • June 2017: "Design of a Soft Catheter for Low-Force and Constrained Surgery," accepted to IROS 2017, lead author Patrick Slade. Congrats Patrick!

  • June 2017: "A robotic device using gecko-inspired adhesives can grasp and manipulate large objects in microgravity" is published in Science Robotics,

lead author: Hao Jiang. Congrats Hao!

  • May 2017: Cara's poster for ISB is shortlisted for the David Winter's Young Investigator's Award. Congrats Cara!

  • April 2017: "Simulation of a Passive Assistive Device to Reduce Running Effort," accepted ISB 2017 as a poster. Congrats Cara!

  • January 2017: "Exomuscle: An inflatable device for shoulder abduction support," accepted to ICRA 2017, lead author: Cole Simpson. Congrats Cole!

  • January 2017: "Series Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (sPAMs) and Application to a Soft Continuum Robot," accepted to ICRA 2017, lead author: Joey Greer. Congrats Joey!

  • January 2017: "Force and Moment Constraints of a Curved Surface Gripper and Wrist for Assistive Free Flyers," accepted to ICRA 2017, lead author: Matt Estrada. Congrats Matt!

  • January 2017: "Pneumatic Reel Actuator: Design, Modeling, and Implementation," accepted to ICRA 2017, lead author: Zachary Hammond. Congrats Zack!

  • January 2017: "Passive Returning Mechanism for Twisted String Actuators," accepted to ICRA 2017, lead author: Muhammad Usman. Congrats Muhammad!

  • January 2017: "Design of a Compact Actuation and Control System for Flexible Medical Robots," accepted to ICRA 2017 and RAL, lead author: Tania Morimoto. Congrats Tania!

  • December 2016: US Patent 9517610 Issued: "Grippers based on opposing van der Waals adhesive pads."

  • December 2016: "A Multi-Modal Robot for Perching and Climbing on Vertical Outdoor Surfaces" has been accepted to IEEE Transactions on Robotics. Check out the fun video. Congrats Morgan Pope!

  • October 2016: "Fruit fly scale robots can hover longer with flapping wings than with spinning wings"published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Thanks to co-author David Lentink for all the help!

  • October 2016: Congrats to Inrak Choi for "Best Demo," showing Wolverine Haptic Interface at UIST 2016, in Tokyo, Japan!

  • September 2016: Excited to start working on our NSF NRI grant on vine robots!

  • July 2016: Began as Visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford University in CHARM Lab.

  • July 2016: Accepted position as Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Santa Barbara. 

  • June 2016: "Wolverine: A Wearable Haptic Interface for Grasping in Virtual Reality," lead author Inrak Choi, accepted to IROS 2016. Congrats Inrak!

  • May 2016: 4 new provisional patents filed.

  • March 2016: Stephen Colbert once again believes in the goodness of science; Spiderman IS plausible after all! Stephen Colbert pretending to climb like Spiderman/Elliot

  • February 2016: After a group from Cambridge suggested that climbing with a hand-sized area of gecko adhesive is impossible, Stephen Colbert is very disappointed because Science has ruined Spider-Man. Luckily, the Stanford Press Office filmed a response!

  • January 2016: "One Motor, Two Degrees of Freedom through Dynamic Response Switching" accepted to both ICRA 2016 and RAL!

  • January 2016: "Design and Implementation of a 300% Strain Soft Artificial Muscle" accepted to ICRA 2016.

  • January 2016: "Free Flyer Acquisition of Spinning Objects with Gecko-Inspired Adhesives," lead author Matthew Estrada, accepted to ICRA 2016. Congrats Matt!

  • December 2015: Featured in the Cosmos for Schools Physics Lesson, with a Career Profile and even a cartoon!

  • October 2015: ASME 2015 Best Journal Paper Award in Bioinspired Systems and Materials for "Human climbing with efficiently scaled gecko-inspired dry adhesives."

  • October 2015: With Mark Cutkosky and David Christensen, presented work on human climbing, grasping without squeezing and microrobots at swissnex Biorobots:Dissected. Photos

  • October 2015: Co-author, Best Paper Award IROS 2015 for “Tactile Sensing for Gecko-Inspired Adhesion.”

  • September 2015: PNAS paper hits 200 citations. Google Scholar

  • July 2015: Began as a Postdoctoral Scholar with Prof. Allison Okamura in Stanford's CHARM Lab. Elliot's CHARM website.

  • May 2015: Best Student Paper Award at ICRA 2015 for "Grasping without Squeezing: Shear Adhesion Gripper with Fibrillar Thin Film"

  • March 2015: Invited to exhibit work at TED2015