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Steven Dubowsky

Steven Dubowsky

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Room 3-469A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307
Phone: 617-253-2144  
Fax: 617-258-7881  

Administrative Contact:
Irina Gaziyeva
Room 3-461
Phone: 617-253-5592  


BME, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1963
MS, Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1964
ScD, Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1971


MIT Service:

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, 7/82 - Present
Associate Head, ME Systems and Design Division, 7/82 - 7/83
Associate Director, Laboratory for Manf and And Productivity 11/82 - 7/88
Head, ME Systems and Design Division, 7/83 -7/88


Other Related Experience

Perkin-Elmer Corp, Senior Engineer, 6/64-6.71
University of California, Los Angeles, Professor, 7/71-6/82
Laboratoire de Robotique de Paris, Professor Invite, 9/95-12/95
Universite Paris, VI, Distinguished Fellow, 9/95-12/95
Stanford University, Visiting Professor, 8/02-7/04


Consulting (In the Past 2 Years) and Patents

Foster-Miller, Waltham, MA, 6/02-present
Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX, 1/02-6/04
Siemens, Munich,Germany, 6/04-present
NASA, Langley, VA, 2/05-2/06
FSRobotics, Boston, MA, 11/05-present



  • H. Yu and S. Dubowsky, "Omni-directional Vehicle with Offset Wheel Pairs," Patent No. 6,540,039, April 1, 2003.
  • Dubowsky, Steven, Jolesz, Ferenc A, Hafez, Moustafa, Wingert, Andreas, Kacher, Daniel F., "Electrostrictive Polymer Artificial Muscle (EPAM) devices for Magnetic Resonance Imaging," (MRI). Application date: November, 2002.
  • Dubowsky, Steven, Hafez, Moustapha, Weiss, Peter, Wingert, Andreas "Dielectic Elastomer Actuated Systems and Methods, "Application date: November, 2002.
  • G.Morel and S.Dubowsky, "High Performance Control of Manipulators Using A Base Force/ Torque Sensor," Patent Number 5,767,648, May, 1998.

Professional Registration

Registered Professional Engineer, State of California #Csl208 (Control Systems)


Principal Publications (Past Two Years):

  1. Wingert, A., Lichter, M.D., and Dubowsky, S., "On the Design of Large-Degree of Freedom Digital Mechatronic Devices based on Bi-stable Dielectric Elastomer Actuators," IEEE/ASME Journal of Mechatronics (In Press).
  2. Spenko, M., Yu, H-Y, Dubowsky, S. "A Robotic Personal Aid for the Mobility and Health Monitoring for the Elderly," IEEE Trans on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engr (In Press).
  3. Hiroshi Ueno (NASDA), Steven Dubowsky, Chris Lee, Chi Zhu(MIT), Yoshiaki Ohkami, Shuichi Matsumoto, Mitsushige Oda(NASDA) "Space Robotic Mission Concepts For Capturing Stray Objects," The Journal of Space Technology, Trans of the JSASS, (In Press).
  4. Brooks, C,A., Iagnemma, K.D. and Dubowsky, S., "Dubowsky, Visual Wheel Sinkage Measurement for Planetary Rover Mobility Characterization, Autonomous Robots," Vol. 21:1 1, 2006, pp. 55-64.
  5. Dubowsky S., Plante JS., and Boston P., "Low Cost Micro Exploration Robots for Search and Rescue in Rough Terrain," Proceedings of the IEEE International Workshop on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics, Gaithersburg, MD, USA, August 22-24, 2006
  6. Boning, P., and Dubowsky, S., "A Study of Minimal Sensor Topologies for Space Robots," Proc. of the 10th Int. Symp. on Advances in Robot Kinematics June, 2006, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  7. Garretson, J., R., Becker, W., T., and Dubowsky, S., "The Design of a Friction Compensation Control Architecture for a Heavy Lift Precision Manipulator in Contact with the Environment," Proceedings of the IEEE Int. Conference on Robotics and Automation, Orlando, May 15-19, 2006.
  8. Plante, JS., Dubowsky, S., "On the Nature of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators and Its Implications for Their Design," Proceedings of the SPIE Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, Proceedings of SPIE, San Diego, CA, March 2006.
  9. Boston, P.J. and Dubowsky, S., "Hopping Microbot Access to Subsurface (Cave) and Rugged Terrain on Mars and Hazardous Extreme Earth Astrobiology Sites, Proceedings of the American Geophysics Union Congress, San Francisco, CA, 5–9 December 2005
  10. Plante, J. S, Santer, M., Pellegrino, S., And Dubowsky, S. "Compliant Bistable Dielectric Elastomer Actuators For Binary Mechatronic Systems, Proc of the ASME Design Tech. Conf., CA Sept., 2005.
  11. Ishijima, Y., Tzeranis, D., and Dubowsky, S., "On-Orbit Maneuvering of Large Space Flexible Structures by Free-Flying Robots," Proceedings of the 8th Int. Symp. on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, I-SAIRAS, Munich, Germany, September, 2005.
  12. Lichter, M.D., Dubowsky,S., Ueno, H., and Mitani, S., "Shape, Motion, and Parameter Estimation of Flexible Space Structures using Laser Rangefinders," Robotics: Science and Systems, Cambridge, MA, June 8-11, 2005.
  13. Shibly, H., Iagnemma, K, and Dubowsky, S., "An Equivalent Soil Mechanics Formulation for Rigid Wheels in Deformable Terrain, with Application to Planetary Exploration Rovers," The Journal of Terra-mechanics, Volume 42, pp 1-13, 2005.
  14. Marco A. Meggiolaro, Steven Dubowsky and Constantinos Mavroidis, "Geometric and Elastic Error Calibration of a High Accuracy Patient Positioning System," Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol 40, Issue 4, pp.415-427, 2005.
  15. Sujan,V. A., and Dubowsky, S., "An Efficient Information-Based Visual Robotic Mapping in Unstructured Environment," The International Journal of Robotics Research. Vol. 24, No. 4, 2005.
  16. Matthew D. Lichter, M.D., and Dubowsky, S., "Shape, Motion, and Parameter Estimation of Large Flexible Space Structures using Multiple Range Images," Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Barcelona, Spain, April 2005.
  17. Iagnemma, K and Dubowsky, S., "Traction Control of Wheeled Robotic Vehicles in Rough Terrain," The Intern Journal of Robotics Research, Volume 23, No. 10-11, 2004, pp 1029-1040.
  18. Yu,H., Spenko, H. and Dubowsky, S., "Omni-directional Mobility Using Active Split Offset Castors," ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, Volume 126, No.5, pp 822-829, September 2004.
  19. Sujan, V.A. and Dubowsky, S. "Visually Guided Cooperative Robot Actions Based on Information Quality," Journal of Autonomous Robots, Vol 17, August 2004, pp. 1-22.
  20. Sujan, V.A., Dubowsky, S, Huntsberger, H., Aghazarian, H., Cheng, Y. and Schenker, P., "An Architecture for Distributed Environment Sensing with Application to Robotic Cliff Exploration," The Journal of Autonomous Robots, Volume 16, No. 3, May 2004, pp 287-311.
  21. DF Kacher, J Vogan, A Wingert, M Hafez, J-S Plante, S Dubowsky, FA Jolesz. "Development of a Reconfigurable MRI Coil using Electrostrictive Polymer Artificial Muscle Actuators," Proceedings of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine p3394, (May, 2004) Kyoto, Japan.
  22. Iagnemma, K. and Dubowsky, S. "Estimation, Planning, and Control of Mobile Robots in Rough Terrain with application to Planetary Rovers." Heidelberg, 2004.

Scientific & Professional Societies

Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
Honors & Awards – Major Awards in the Past 5 Years
ASME Machine Design Award, 2001
Best Paper Award, ASME 27th Biennial Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, 9/2002
Selected as a Fellow of the NASA Institute of Advances Concepts, 9/2005


Department and Institute Committees (Past 2 Years:)

9/04-7/05 Control Faculty Search Committee

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MITMassachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Mechanical Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 3-173, Cambridge MA 02139