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Ethan Schaler


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-110

Pasadena, CA 91101

Member of:

347C - Extreme Environment Robotics Systems

Ethan Schaler, PhD

Group Leader


Ethan Schaler is a Robotics Mechanical Engineer in the Robotic Climbers and Grippers Group. With backgrounds in Electrical Engineering (PhD), Mechanical Engineering (BS), and Micro- / Nanotechnology (MPhil), Ethan collaborates with researchers in a variety of disciplines to design, model, fabricate, and characterize new robotic systems at µm- to cm-scales.

Ethan is an expert in integrating meso-scale devices – particularly flexible actuators, adhesives, and sensors – to form a functional robot. He is also proficient in manufacturing these devices at both macro- (3D printing, machining, etching) and micro- (deposition, micromachining) scales.

Ethan is always interested in exploring new, unique actuation and sensing technologies (electrostatic, magnetic, piezo, etc.), so feel free to reach out!

He has previously interned at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2016 and NASA Goddard in 2006, was the recipient of the Churchill, NSF GRFP, NDSEG, and Goldwater scholarships, and was awarded the Best Student Paper award at MARSS 2018.


PhD @ Univ. of California, Berkeley (2018)
Electrical Engineering

MPhil @ Univ. of Cambridge (2012)
Micro- and Nanotechnology Enterprise

BS @ Univ. of Maryland, College Park (2011)
Mechanical Engineering

    2016 - NASA JPL (USA)
    2009/10 - Tohoku Univ. (Japan)
    2008/09 - RIKEN (Japan)


  1. E.W., Schaler L., Jiang C., Lee R.S., Fearing, "Bidirectional, thin-film repulsive-/attractive-force electrostatic actuators for a crawling milli-robot," MARSS 2018 (Int. Conf. on Manipulation, Automation, and Robotics at Small Scales), Nagoya, Japan, 07 November 2018.
  2. E.W., Schaler T.I., Zohdi R.S., Fearing, "Thin-film repulsive-force electrostatic actuators," Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 252-261, 07 November 2018.
  3. E.W., Schaler L., Jiang R.S., Fearing, "Multi-layer, thin-film repulsive-force electrostatic actuators for a 2-DoF micro-mirror," ACTUATOR 2018 (Int. Conf. and Exhibition on New Actuators and Drive Systems), Bremen, Germany, 25 June 2018.