Bio and Contact Info

Capsule Bio:

Michael T. Tolley is Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and director of the Bioinspired Robotics and Design Lab at the Jacobs School of Engineering, UC San Diego ( Before joining the mechanical engineering faculty at UCSD in the fall of 2014, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University. He received the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science from Cornell University in 2009 and 2011, respectively. His research seeks inspiration from nature to design robotic systems with the versatility, resilience, and efficiency of biological organisms. Example topics include soft robots, origami robots, and systems capable of self-assembly. His work has appeared in leading academic journals including Science and Nature, and has been recognized by awards including a US Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program award and a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award. He is active in the robotics community, serving in multiple associate editor and conference organizer roles including as Program Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft) in 2020 and General Chair in 2024. Prof. Tolley is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Research Website: 

Contact Info:

Professor Michael T. Tolley

Franklin Antonio Hall, room 3102

9500 Gilman Drive #0433

La Jolla, CA 92093-0433


Bioinspired Robotics and Design Lab

Cyber-Physical Technologies Collaboratory

Contextual Robotics Institute

Franklin Antonio Hall, room 3101

9500 Gilman Drive #0433

La Jolla, CA 92093-0433