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Ryan McCormick


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91101

Member of:

3472 - Robotic Systems Staff

Ryan McCormick

Member of Technical Staff


Ryan McCormick is the Project Manager/Principal Investigator for the Cold Operable Lunar Deployable Arm (COLDArm) lunar flight demonstration project. He served as the Mars 2020 Force Sensor Cognizant Engineer. In this role, he was responsible for the delivery of three force sensors in the Sample Caching Subsystem (SCS), including the first ever 6-axis force torque sensors for Mars. Ryan joined the Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators group in 2013.

Before joining JPL, Ryan McCormick worked as a Robotics Engineer at HDT Robotics. In this role, he was lead systems engineer to the design, prototyping, testing, and delivery of the Protector medium-sized unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) and "follow me" autonomy kit for dismounted soldiers. His graduate research focused on the development of miniature in vivo surgical robot manipulators.


MS Mechanical Engineering, Aug 2011
Univ. of Nebraska
Thesis: Six Degree of Freedom Miniature in vivo Robot for Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Surgery
MS Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Business, May 2009

Professional Experience

2013 - Present: Robotics Mechanical Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
2011 - 2013: Robotics Engineer, HDT Robotics
2009 - 2011: Graduate Research Assistant, Advanced Surgical Technologies Lab, Univ. of Nebraska


  1. W. Reid, T. Bartlett, A. Bouton, M. Strub, M. Newby, S. Gerdts, J. Martin, S. Moreland, and R. McCormick, "Planning and Control for Autonomous Drives of the Mars Sample Recovery Helicopter," 2024 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-11, 02 March 2024.
  1. A. Brinkman, J. Karras, D. Zhu, N. Abcouwer, T. Brown, G. Kubiak, A. Umali, L. Tse, J. Zitkus, R. Mccormick, "Leveraging Ingenuity Software and Avionics to Enable Robotic Arm Sampling for COLDArm," 2023 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-9, 04 March 2023.
  2. D. Newill-Smith, J. Shatts, R. P. Dillon, J. Karras, A. Brinkman, S. Backus, A. Umali, R. McCormick, L. Fradet, J. Laramee, G. Levanas, and R. Fleischner, "Cold Operable Lunar Deployable Arm (COLDArm) System Development and Test," 2023 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1109/AERO55745.2023.10115649, 04 March 2023.
  1. S. Backus, S. Moreland, L. Kerber, and R. McCormick, "Design and Use of the Cold Operable Lunar Deployable Arm End Effector for Geotechnical Investigations," 2021 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, LPI Contribution No. 2635, id.5035, 31 August 2021.
  1. R. McCormick, A. Austin, K. Wehage, S. Backus, R. Miller, J. Leith, B. Bradley, P. Durham, R. Mukherjee, "REMORA CubeSat for large debris rendezvous, attachment, tracking, and collision avoidance," 2018 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1109/AERO.2018.8396814, 03 March 2018.
  1. R. Mukherjee, B. Chamberlain-Simon, N. Abcouwer, R. Mc Cormick, R. Smith, T. Frederick, M. Dolci, "Concepts for Mars On-Orbit Robotic Sample Capture and Transfer," 2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Montana, USA, 01 April 2017.