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Ryan L. TrubyAssistant Professor of Materials Science and EngineeringAssistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Inspired by the stark performance gap between biological and artificial machines, my research broadly aims to advance machine intelligence through material design. Our mission in the Robotic Matter Lab is to develop material systems whose forms and functionalities give soft devices and robots novel bioinspired actuation, perception, control, and power capabilities. We take an interdisciplinary approach to solving key challenges in the design, fabrication, and control of autonomous soft robots and robotic materials.

Our lab specializes in the synthesis and characterization of functional soft, polymeric, and nanoscale materials, development of novel additive and digital manufacturing methods, design and control of soft robots, and rheological characterization of soft matter. We are currently working on soft artificial muscles and sensors, rapid multi-material fabrication methods for robotic materials, and machine learning-based control strategies for soft robotics. We conduct these principle research efforts through the lens of our team’s diversity of expertise and perspective, with the goal of pioneering a generation of autonomous systems that bring new innovations to healthcare, environmental stewardship, exploration, automation, and well beyond.


Postdoc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Ph.D. Applied Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Assistant Professor                                                                                                        09/2021 – Present 

Department of Materials Science and Engineering 

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Core Member, Center for Robotics and Biosystems  

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

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