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Bergbreiter, Sarah

Sarah Bergbreiter
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Joint Appointment, Institute for Systems Research
2170 Glenn L. Martin Hall, Building 088
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Research Interests 

  • Microrobotics
  • Micro-electro-mechanical systems
  • Microactuators
  • Soft robotics
  • Robot locomotion
  • Networked centimeter-scale robots
  • Millimeter-scale power systems


Sarah Bergbreiter had a short introduction to the challenges of sensor networks at a small startup company before receiving her advanced degrees with a focus on microrobotics.


  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2007
  • M.S.E.E. University of California, Berkeley, 2004
  • B.S.E. Princeton University, 1999

Honors and Awards 

  • 2011 - NSF CAREER Award for research on engineering robotic systems down to sub-millimeter size scales
  • 2010 - IEEE ICRA Best Conference Paper Award for work incorporating new materials into microrobotics
  • 2008 - DARPA Young Faculty Award

Selected Publications 


  • Gerratt, A. P., Balakrisnan, B. and Bergbreiter, S., “Batch microfabricated bidirectional dielectric elastomer actuators,” in Transducers, Beijing, June 5-9, 2011.
  • Penskiy, I., Gerratt, A. P., and Bergbreiter, S., “Efficient electrostatic inchworm motors with simple control and high force density,” in Transducers, Beijing, June 5-9, 2011.
  • Vogtmann, D. E., Gupta S. K., and Bergbreiter, S., “Multi-Material Compliant Mechanisms for Mobile Millirobots,” in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Shanghai, May 9-13, 2011.


  • Gerratt, A. P., Penskiy, I., and Bergbreiter, S., “SOI/elastomer process for energy storage and rapid release,” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, vol. 20, no. 10, p. 104011, 2010.
  • Currano, L. J., Churaman, W., Rajkowski, J., Morris, C. J., Bergbreiter, S. “Nanoenergetic Silicon as a Thrust Actuator for Jumping Microrobots,” Hilton Head 2010 Workshop, June 6-10, 2010.
  • Gerratt, A.P., Penskiy, I., Bergbreiter, S. “Integrated Silicon-PDMS Process for Microrobot Mechanisms,” ICRA 2010, Anchorage, AK, May 3-7, 2010.


  • Hollar, S., Flynn, A., Bergbreiter, S., and Pister, K.S.J.**, "Robot Leg Motion in a Planarized-SOI, Two-Layer Poly-Si Process," Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, vol. 14, pp. 725-740, 2005.

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