Yogesh Chukewad

robobee with ocelli
Ph.D. Student in Autonomous Insect Robotics Lab

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Washington

Mech. Eng. Bldg. (MEB) Room 113
Seattle, WA 98105

Mech. Eng. Bldg. (MEB) Room 151, #14
Seattle, WA 98105

About me

    I am a PhD. student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington where I work in the Autonomous Insect Robotics (AIR) Laboratory advised by Prof. Sawyer Fuller. My research focuses on designing and fabricating insect scale robots. I also work on controlling the flight of these insect scale robots with the help of on-board as well as off-board sensors.

    Before coming to UW I did my MS in Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University and BTech (with Hons.) at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. On the industry front, I worked as an engineer on the Core Engine Simulation team at Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Illinois from 2014 to 2016.


    University of Washington Seattle, WA
    Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Sep 2016 - Aug 2019 (expected)
    Advisor: Prof. Sawyer Fuller

    Arizona State University Tempe, AZ
    M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Aug 2012 - Jul 2014
    Advisor: Prof. Angela Sodemann; Co-advisor: Prof. Joseph Davidson

    Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Mumbai, India
    B.Tech (Hons.) in Mechanical Engineering, Jul 2008 - May 2012
    Advisor: Prof. Suhas Joshi; Co-advisor: Prof. Upendra Bhandarkar

Recent Work (Press)

    The first wireless fly-sized drone We built the world's first fly-sized drone that does not need a wire to the ground to supply power and control signals. This is a challenge because of the difficulty of miniaturizing the circuitry to drive the robot's piezo actuators. The piezo actuators, which drive its flapping wings, require a step-up voltage converter. We figured out a new way to quickly make the ultra-light circuit and incorporated the first microprocessor brain on-board, creating a circuit weighing less than a toothpick. We provided power using an infrared laser beam.

    [Wireless RoboFly] [IEEE Spectrum] [Economist] [Wired] [CNBC]
robofly comparison

RoboFly in Action

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    E. Dedic, Y. Chukewad, R. Vaddi, I. Novosselov and S. B. Fuller, An Electrohydrodynamic Four-thruster Centimeter-scale Robot Fabricated by Laser Micro-machining, International Conference on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (ICUAS) (2019) [Under Review]

    Y. Chukewad, A. Singh, J. James and S. B. Fuller, A new robot fly design that is easy to fabricate and capable of flight and ground locomotion, International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (Madrid, Spain, 2018) [PDF]

    S. Balasubramanian, Y. Chukewad, J. James, G. Barrows, and S. B. Fuller, An Insect-Sized Robot That Uses a Custom-Built Onboard Camera and a Neural Network to Classify and Respond to Visual Input, IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BIOROB) (Enschede, the Netherlands, 2018) [PDF]

    J. James, V. Iyer, Y. Chukewad, S. Gollakota, and S. B. Fuller, Liftoff of a 190 mg Laser-Powered Aerial Vehicle: The Lightest Wireless Robot to Fly, IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation (ICRA) (Brisbane, Australia, 2018) [PDF]

    A. Sodemann and Y. Chukewad. Comparison of Cartesian and Polar Kinematic Arrangements for Compensation of Scale Effects in Micromilling. Proceedings of the ASME Inter- national Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE 2013-65002), San Diego, CA, USA, November 15-21, 2013

    Y. Wagh, Y. Chukewad, N. Gupta, and R. Singh, Experimental Investigation of Micro-scale Fiber Laser Based Surface Hardening, Proceedings of 6th ICOMM conference, Tokyo Denki University, Tokyo, March 2011

    A. Singh, Y. Chukewad, and S. Fuller, A robot fly design with a low center of gravity folded from a single laminate sheet, Workshop on Foldable Robotics, IEEE Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (Vancouver, Canada, 2017).
    Y. Chukewad (2014). An Investigation of Kinematic Redundancy for Reduced Error in Micromilling. (Masters Thesis Arizona State University)


    Yogesh Chukewad, "A biology-inspired robot fly, capable of aerial and ground locomotion", Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies + Ideas (NIFTI) (Nov 2017)

    Yogesh Chukewad, Johannes James and Vikram Iyer, "Robot Autonomy at Insect-scale", (Microsoft Garage) (Jun 2018)

Teaching (TA) Experience

    ME 547: Linear Systems Theory (Autumn 2017, 2018)
    ME 581: Digital Control System Design (Spring 2018)
    ME 450: Introduction to Composite Materials (Winter 2019)

Contact: yogeshc(at)uw.edu