The Faboratory

Research Lab at Yale University
What We Do

About us

The natural world is filled with soft, adaptive systems capable of stably and safely interacting with their environment. However, the machines that we build today are most often constructed from rigid components. In the Yale Faboratory, we are developing intelligent materials that will allow soft robots to adapt their properties, morphology, and control policy to changing tasks and environments.

Materials

We are developing new multifunctional materials that blur component boundaries to reduce the complexity of robotic systems.

Manufacturing

We are discovering new techniques to synthesize responsive composites and harness their function to achieve new capabilities in synthetic systems.

Robotics

We leverage our material and manufacturing discoveries to push forward the capabilities of soft matter electronics and soft robots.

The Yale Faboratory researches new and innovative ways to make things

Lab News

Professor Kramer-Bottiglio is featured in a Yale Meet the FAS Faculty video

May 2022

Congratulations to Faboratory postdoc Lina Sanchez Botero for winning best poster at Yale's postdoc symposium!

May 2022

Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Stephanie Woodman for winning a NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Fellowship!

April 2022

Congratulations to Faboratory graduate students Anjali Agrawala and Stephanie Woodman for winning NSF Graduate Research Fellowships!

April 2022

Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Will Johnson for winning a Ford Fellowship honorable mention

March 2022

Prof. Kramer-Bottiglio is named a National Academy of Engineering Gilbreth Lecturer

January 2022

Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Will Johnson for winning a NASA CT Space Grant Consortium fellowship

December 2021

Our Science Advances paper on jamming fibers is featured by Tech Xplore, Yale SEAS News, and Yale News, among others

October 2021
  • Congratulations to Faboratory postdoc Sree Patiballa for being selected for NSF CMMI’s Game Changer Academies for Advancing Research Innovation - Oct 2021

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Stephanie Woodman for winning a Yale Advanced Graduate Leadership Program fellowship! - Sept 2021

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative NSF DMREF grant to design granular metamaterials with artificial evolution - Sept 2021

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Luis Ramirez for winning an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! - Aug 2021

  • Professor Kramer-Bottiglio is promoted to Associate Professor with tenure - July 2021

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Dylan Shah for winning The Henry Prentiss Becton Graduate Prize for exceptional achievement in research! - Nov 2020

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Sophia Eristoff for winning a NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Fellowship! - April 2021

  • Congratulations to Faboratory postdoc Elze Porte and co-authors, "Capacitive sensor measurement rate improves by pre-stretching" is a best poster finalist at RoboSoft 2021 - April 2021

  • Our Nature Materials paper on stretchable electronics is featured by Yale News - Feb 2021

  • The Faboratory is awarded an ONR grant to continue our development of a turtle-inspired amphibious robot with morphing limbs

  • Our Advanced Functional Materials paper on "Jamming Skins that Control System Rigidity from the Surface" is featured by Advanced Science News - Nov 2020

  • Our Nature Machine Intelligence paper on "A soft robot that adapts to environments through shape change" is featured by Yale News and IEEE Spectrum Video Friday - Nov 2020

  • Our PNAS paper on "Roboticizing fabric using functional fibers" is featured by Yale News, Inverse, Engadget, Yale Daily News and many more - Sept 2020

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative NSF grant to develop wearable textile sensors - Oct 2020

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative NSF grant to create modular tensegrity robots - Oct 2020

  • Prof. Kramer-Bottiglio is named to the NASA Technology, Innovation and Engineering Committee - July 2020

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative ONR grant to develop granular metamaterials for next-generation atomopheric diving suits - June 2020

  • Our co-authored paper, "Electronic skins and machine learning for intelligent soft robots" is featured in TechExplore

  • Our paper on "Sustainable manufacturing of sensors onto soft systems using self-coagulating conductive Pickering emulsions" is featured in TechExplore - Mar 2020

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Trevor Buckner for receiving a Gruman Graduate Fellowship - Jan 2020

  • The Omniskins and EFRI shape-changing robots projects are featured by Massive Science - Jan 2020

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Bilige Yang for receiving the Lippincott Fellowship from Swarthmore College - Aug 2019

  • Our paper on "Morphing Robots Using Robotic Skins That Sculpt Clay" is featured in The New Stack, Yale SEAS News, and IEEE Spectrum - Aug 2019

  • Our paper on "Reconfigurable soft body trajectories using unidirectionally stretchable composite laminae" is published in Nature Communications and highlighted by Wired - Aug 2019

  • Our co-authored paper "Automated shapeshifting for function recovery in damaged robots" is featured on DARPA's Facebook and Twitter - July 2019

  • Our co-authored paper "Automated shapeshifting for function recovery in damaged robots" is featured in Nature Machine Intelligence - July 2019

  • The Faboratory is awarded a NASA STTR Sequential Phase II grant with Otherlab to continue our development of sensors for soft-bodied control - July 2019

  • Prof. Kramer-Bottiglio receives the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) - July 2019

  • Prof. Kramer-Bottiglio is named the John J. Lee Professor of Engineering - May 2019

  • Congratulations to Faboratory undergraduate student Andrew Reardon for winning an undergraduate research fellowship from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium. The project is highlighted by Yale Daily News and YALE SEAS News - May 2019

  • Our co-authored paper "Automated Recycling Separation Enabled by Soft Robotic Material Classification" wins Best Poster Award at RoboSoft 2019 - Apr 2019

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Robert Baines for winning an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship - Apr 2019

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Robert Baines, "Toward a bio-inspired variable-stiffness morphing limb for amphibious robot locomotion" is nominated for best paper award at RoboSoft 2019 - March 2019

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Jennifer Case, "Robotic skins that learn to control passive structures," is nominated for best paper award at RoboSoft 2019 - March 2019

  • Prof. Kramer-Bottiglio and the Faboratory are selected to present and demo soft robotic skins at MARS 2019 - March 2019

  • The Faboratory is awarded a DURIP equipment award from AFOSR - March 2019

  • The Faboratory's OmniSkins project and recent EFRI collaboration are featured in the Communications of the ACM - April 2019

  • The OmniSkins project is featured in media outlets including Gizmodo, Smithsonian.com, Engadget, RT News, National Geographic Australia, Futurism, The Verge, and Popular Science, marking the finish of a 4-year NASA Early Career Faculty Award - Fall 2018

  • The Faboratory is featured in the Yale Engineering Magazine - Fall 2018

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative NSF grant to build morphing robots - August 2018

  • Prof. Kramer-Bottiglio is selected to participate in NAE’s 2018 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium - May 2018

  • Prof. Kramer-Bottiglio is featured in IEEE Pulse, The Robotics Revolution Will Be Soft - May 2018

  • The Faboratory is awarded a faculty research grant from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium to develop deployable self-constructing soft robots - May 2018

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Adam Bilodeau, "All-Soft Material System for Strong Soft Actuators" wins best student paper award at RoboSoft 2018 - April 2018

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Michelle Yuen, "Strain Sensor-Embedded Soft Pneumatic Actuators and Extension and Bending Feedback" is a best poster finalist at RoboSoft 2018 - April 2018

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative NASA STTR Phase II grant with Otherlab to explore sensors and soft-bodied control - Aug 2017

  • The Faboratory moves to Yale University - July 2017

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Dylan Shah for winning a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship - Apr 2017

  • Prof. Kramer receives the ONR YIP Award! - Feb 2017

  • "Hybrid Self-Assembly During Evaporation Enables Drop-on-Demand Thin Film Devices" is on the cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces - Jan 2017

  • The Faboratory's breakthrough research on inkjet printing of liquid metal electronics is featured in C&EN's Year in Review: Top Research of 2016 - Dec 2016

  • The Faboratory is highlighted by AZO Sensors for research on flexible, stretchable sensors - Oct 2016

  • Prof. Kramer is featured in Boiler Life: Fall 2016 - Oct 2016

  • Prof. Kramer is featured in Purdue Profiles: Rebecca Kramer - Sep 2016

  • Prof. Kramer is quoted in NY City Lens article "Problem Solving With Soft Robots" - Sep 2016

  • Prof. Kramer is featured and quoted in Chemical and Engineering News, "Liquid metals take shape" - July 2016

  • Prof. Kramer receives the AFOSR YIP Award! - May 2016

  • Prof. Kramer participates in NASA Technology Day on Capitol Hill - Apr 2016

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative NASA STTR grant with Otherlab to explore multimodal sensory skins and soft robotic manipulators - Apr 2016

  • The Faboratory is awarded a grant from Intel to develop wearable sensing technology - Apr 2016

  • The Faboratory is highlighted in Purdue's Engineering Impact Magazine (p.17) for our innovations with robotic fabric - Mar 2016

  • Prof. Kramer is quoted in Nature News, Meet the soft, cuddly robots of the future - Feb 2016

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative DARPA Robotics Fast Track (RFT) grant with Otherlab to explore sensor-enabled control of soft pneumatic robots - Jan 2016

  • Congratulations to Faboratory undergraduate student Jarvis Du for winning a Bottomley Undergraduate Research Scholarship - Dec 2015

  • The Faboratory is awarded a collaborative NSF grant to explore soft robotics in education, "Soft Robotics to Broaden the STEM Pipeline" - July 2015

  • "Soft Electronics for Soft Robotics" wins best paper award at the Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications Conference - June 2015

  • Our news release, "Inkjet-printed liquid metal could bring wearable tech, soft robotics" was featured by Engadget, Gizmodo, ExtremeTech, Science World Report, RedOrbit, Discovery News, Mic, and more! - May 2015

  • "Mechanically Sintered Gallium-Indium Nanoparticles" is on the cover of Advanced Materials - Apr 2015

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Jennifer Case for winning a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship - Apr 2015

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate students Jennifer Case and Michelle Yuen for winning NSF Graduate Fellowships - Apr 2015

  • Prof. Kramer is featured in the Journal & Courier "Purdue professor turning science fiction into reality" - Feb 2015

  • Prof. Kramer is featured in The Exponent "Mechanical engineering professor on Forbes' 30 Under 30" - Jan 2015

  • The Faboratory's work on robotic fabrics is highlighted in Textile Insight Magazine, p.48 - Jan 2015

  • Prof. Kramer receives the NSF CAREER Award! - Jan 2015

  • Prof. Kramer is selected for the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 in Manufacturing - Jan 2015

  • The Faboratory is highlighted in Bloomberg TV's The Year Ahead: 2015 "The Future of Robotics May Be a Robot You Wear" - Nov 2014

  • The Faboratory is highlighted in the first issue of Purdue's Discovery Magazine "Research paving the way for soft machines" - Oct 2014

  • The Faboratory is featured in Purdue News, "Robotic fabric could bring 'active clothing,' wearable robots" as well as Phys.org, Wired, and more. - Sept 2014

  • Inside Indiana Business "Purdue Professor Picked by NASA" - Aug 2014

  • Prof. Kramer is quoted in Architect Magazine - "Hard Science Gives Rise to Soft Machines" - July 2014

  • Prof. Kramer receives the NASA Early Career Faculty Award! - July 2014

  • The Faboratory is featured in Purdue News, "New manufacturing methods needed for 'soft' machines, robots" as well as Engineering.com, NASA Tech Briefs, and more. - June 2014

  • "Direct Writing of Ga-In Alloy for Stretchable Electronics" is the inside cover article for Advanced Functional Materials - June 2014

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Michelle Yuen for winning a NSF GRFP honorable mention - Apr 2014

  • Congratulations to Faboratory graduate student Edward White for winning a NSF Graduate Fellowship - Apr 2014

Our People

Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio

  • Principal Investigator
  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

  • Yale Faculty Profile
  • Google Scholar
  • Ph.D., Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 2012
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California Berkeley, 2008
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2007

Dr. Joran Booth

Dr. Joran Booth


Research Scientist

joranbooth.com
Dr. Xiaonan Huang

Dr. Xiaonan Huang


Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Nidhi Pashine

Dr. Nidhi Pashine


Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Lina Sanchez Botero

Dr. Lina Sanchez Botero


Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Osman Dogan Yirmibesoglu

Dr. Osman Dogan Yirmibesoglu


Postdoctoral Researcher

Anjali Agrawala

Anjali Agrawala


2nd-year PhD Student

Robert Baines

Robert Baines


5th-year PhD Student

Trevor Buckner

Trevor Buckner


6th-year PhD Student

Sophia Eristoff

Sophia Eristoff


3rd-year PhD Student

Medha Goyal

Medha Goyal


1st-year PhD Student

Will Johnson

Will Johnson


2nd-year PhD Student

Luis Ramirez

Luis Ramirez


1st-year PhD Student

Sven Witthaus

Sven Witthaus


1st-year PhD Student

joint with C. O'Hern

Stephanie Woodman

Stephanie Woodman


2nd-year PhD Student

Bilige Yang

Bilige "Billy" Yang


3rd-year PhD Student

Undergraduate Researchers


Melanie Landesberg

Janet Mascorro

Neera Raychaudhuri

Archana Sharma




Postdocs


Dr. Elze Porte

Dr. Amir Mohammadi Nasab
current position: Sr. Mechanical engineer, Rivian
Dr. Sreekalyan Patiballa
current position: Assistant Professor, University of Alabama
Dr. Sang Yup Kim
current position: Assistant Professor, Sogang University
Dr. Andrew Jackson
current position: Assistant Professor, University of Georgia
Dr. Steph Walker
current position: Postdoctoral Associate at Oregon State University
Dr. Olivier Cyr-Choiniere
current position: NSER CREATE scholar in Financial Engineering at Fin-ML
Prof. Mohammed Mohammed
current position: Assistant Professor, Cairo University
Prof. J. William Boley
current position: Assistant Professor, Boston University

PhD


Dr. Dylan Shah, 2022
current position: Hardware R&D Scientist at Arieca
Dr. Shanliangzi Liu, 2020
current position: Postdoc at Rogers Research Group (Northwestern University)
Dr. R Adam Bilodeau, 2020
current position: Postdoc at BYU; Adjunct Faculty at Utah Valley University
Dr. Jennifer Case, 2019
current position: Postdoc at NIST
Dr. Michelle Yuen, 2018
current position: Postdoc at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab
Dr. Edward White, 2017
current position: Adjunct Faculty at JHU

MS


Jiawei Zhang, 2017
current position: Process Engineer at Tesla
Trevor Lear, 2016
current position: Advanced Quality Engineer at Stryker
Thomas Chenal, 2014
current position: Continuous Improvement Engineer - Medtronic. Was an MS exchange student from EPFL

Postgrads


Thomas Sipple, 2019-2020
current position: Engineer at Organic Robotics

Undergraduate Researchers

Andonny Garcia

Eugene Thomas

Liana Tilton

Hannah Steele

Andrew Reardon

Kristen Henry

Ellen Yang

Jane Jacobs

John Kim

Sinem Sinmaz

Gabrielle Branin

Evelyn Huang

Nguyen Pham

John McCaw

Hannah Brown

Jarvis Du

Current Projects

Design and Optimization of Granular Metamaterials using Artificial Evolution

Sponsor: NSF DMREF

Collaborators: Corey O'Hern (Yale ), Josh Bongard (UVM)

Autonomous Environmental Transitions of an Amphibious Turtle-Inspired Robot

Sponsor: Office of Naval Research

Collaborators: Frank Fish (West Chester University), Simon Freeman (NUWC)

Robust Assembly of Compliant Modular Robots

Sponsor: NSF Robust Intelligence program

Collaborators: Kostas Bekris (Rutgers, project lead), Devin Balkcom (Dartmouth), Joran Booth (Yale), Weifu Wang (University at Albany)

Fabric-Embedded Dynamic Sensing for Adaptive Exoskeleton Assistance

Sponsor: NSF Cyber-Human Systems program

Collaborators: Holly Yanco (UML, project lead), Yan Gu (UML), Pei-Chun Kao (UML)

Granular Metamaterial Design for Extreme Pressure Differentials

Sponsor: Office of Naval Research

Collaborators: Corey O’Hern (Yale), Mark Shattuck (CCNY)

Resource Ingesting Soft Robotic Skins for in situ Regolith Sampling

Sponsor: NASA Ames

Collaborator: Darlene Lim (NASA Ames)

Programmable Skins for Moldable and Morphogenetic Soft Robots

Sponsor: NSF Emerging Frontiers & Multidisciplinary Activities

Collaborators: Madhu Venkadesan (Yale), Josh Bongard (UVM), Michael Levin (Tufts)

Active Elastic Skins for Soft Robotics (OmniSkins)

Sponsor: NASA Early Career Faculty Program

Soft Robotic Manipulators with Enhanced Perception using Multimodal Sensory Skins
  • Sponsor: NASA STTR
  • Collaborator: Jim McBride (Otherlab, project lead)

  • Understanding the Printability of Liquid Metal Dispersions for Additive Manufacturing
  • Sponsor: NSF CAREER

  • Morphing Limbs with Distributed Actuation, Sensing and Variable Stiffness for Turtle- and Tortoise-Inspired Amphibious Locomotion
  • Sponsor: Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program
  • Collaborator: Frank Fish (West Chester University)

  • Soft Robotics to Broaden the STEM Pipeline
  • Sponsor: NSF ITEST
  • Collaborator: Nathan Mentzer (Purdue, project lead)

  • Robotic Fabrics: Multifunctional Fabrics for Reconfigurable and Wearable Soft Systems
  • Sponsor: Air Force Young Investigator Program

  • Bagbots: Using Robotic Skins for Deployable Self-Constructing Soft Robots
  • Sponsor: NASA CT Space Grant Consortium

  • Intelligent Activewear: Computer-Aided Proprioception for Posture and Performance Enhancement
  • Sponsor: Intel Corp.
  • Collaborator: Kathleen Sienko (UMich)

  • Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing of Wearable Human Monitoring Systems
  • Sponsor: Printing SMART Films Industry Consortium
  • Collaborator: George Chiu (Purdue)

  • SENSE: Soft Elastomer Networks for State Estimation
  • Sponsor: DARPA Robotics Fast Track (RFT)
  • Collaborator: Kevin Albert (Otherlab, project lead)


  • Publications

    Shape changing robots: Bioinspiration, simulation, and physical realization Stretching coalesces the liquid metal in a multiphase silicone composite, to enable uniform electrical conductivity Rupture-induced conductivity in liquid metal nanoparticles by laser and thermal sintering, to create stretchable circuits
    Hybrid self-assembly of gallium-indium alloy onto PDMS. Cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    A stretchable gallium-indium nanoparticle circuit, printed on a nitrile glove. Cover of Advanced Materials
    Printed gallium-indium alloy stretchable circuits. Cover of Advanced Functional Materials
    Positioning of quantum dots on metallic nanostructures, as featured on the cover of Nanotechnology

    Opportunties

    Undergraduate students

    The Faboratory is always seeking highly motivated undergraduate students to assist with research projects. Students should contact Professor Kramer-Bottiglio for more information. Please note that we strongly prefer long-term projects (one year or more) due to the significant amount of training required for our projects.


    Graduate students

    Prospective graduate students should apply to the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Please specify interest in working with Professor Kramer-Bottiglio in your application. The Faboratory typically adds 1-2 graduate students each year.


    Postdocs

    The Faboratory at the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science is seeking postdoc applications for multiple projects: (1) Sensor development, interfacing, and packaging, and the use of machine learning to discover trends in sensor data, (2) Design of hardware, electronics, and control systems for shape-adaptive robots, and (3) Design of granular metamaterials with adaptive bulk properties. Applicants should have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Materials Engineering, or a related field, and a proven track record of high-quality publications. Preference will be given to candidates with experience applicable to the target projects. Candidates from other backgrounds that are highly motivated to learn in these areas will also be strongly considered. For more information, please contact: rebecca.kramer@yale.edu.

    To apply, please email a single PDF document to rebecca.krameryale.edu, containing: (1) a cover letter, (2), a CV, (3) a one-page research statement, (4) at most, three representative research papers, and (5) names and contact information for at least three references.

    Contact

    General inquiries should be directed to Professor Kramer-Bottiglio
    (rebecca.krameryale.edu)


    The Faboratory at Yale University
    9 Hillhouse Ave, ML 118
    New Haven, CT 06511
    203-432-5592