I'm currently a robotics mechanical engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, nominally working on whatever NASA and other agencies are willing to fund (thanks for paying your taxes!). I received my PhD from Yale University in 2016, where I studied methods and designs for dexterous manipulation with compliant, underactuated hands, as a graduate researcher in the Yale Grab Lab. I previously graduated from MIT in 2010 with a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Mechanical Engineering with focus on Robotics. Usually answers to "Ray". Have been known to also answer to "crazyray," "toothpickguy," and "hey you."

Previously, I was fortunate enough to start grad school as part of the Yale-Harvard-iRobot collaboration that developed the iHY hand for the DARPA ARM-H challenge. That work led to me starting and developing the Yale OpenHand Project, an online repository of open-source hand designs based on Yale Grab Lab's work in rapidly prototyped flexure-based grippers. In parallel with my thesis work, I've also modified RepRap-style 3D-printers and experimented with various rapid-prototyping techniques.

My research interests include all things robotics-related, rapid prototyping/manufacturing, data visualization, and telepresence. I'm a strong believer that the robot apocalypse won't have much of a chance until robotic interfaces with the physical world are as adept as their connections to the digital one. Hopefully our future robot overlords will reward me for my contribution. Luckily for human sustainability, my day-to-day in the lab through grad school mostly involved making pretty plots and snagging obscure code from various corners of the internet to make small widgets work long enough for experiments and video demos.

I hail from deep in the heart of Texas suburbia, which is just about as exciting and exotic as it sounds. Despite previous pit stops in Ohio, Alabama, Boston, and New Haven the Dallas Mavericks and Longhorns are my teams of choice. The Cowboys, not so much.

Away from work, I fulfill the asian graduate student stereotype by being atrocious at sports and defy it by being equally inept at Starcraft.


Current City: Pasadena, CA
Occupation: Robotics Mechanical Engineer
E-mail: ray.r.ma [at] gmail.com