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Bergbreiter, Sarah

Sarah Bergbreiter
Director, Maryland Robotics Center
Associate Professor
2170 Glenn L. Martin Hall

Research Interests 

Microrobotics, micro-electro-mechanical systems, microactuators, soft robotics, robot locomotion, networked centimeter-scale robots, millimeter-scale power systems



Sarah Bergbreiter joined the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Institute for Systems Research. Sarah brings new skills and interests to our programs, and can help to bridge research in systems and control with research in microsystems and fabrication.

She received her B.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1999. After a short introduction to the challenges of sensor networks at a small startup company, she received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 and 2007 with a focus on microrobotics. She received the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2008, the NSF CAREER Award in 2011, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Award in 2013 for her research on engineering robotic systems down to sub-millimeter size scales. She also received the Best Conference Paper Award at IEEE ICRA 2010 for her work incorporating new materials into microrobotics.

Honors and Awards 

Young faculty awards
PECASE (Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers), 2013
NSF CAREER for "Microrobot Legs for Fast Locomotion over Rough Terrain, 2011
DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2008

Other awards
Best Conference Paper Award, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation

Related News 

Maryland part of $253 million federal Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute
Research will create jobs, make industrial robotics more afforable, adaptable and useful for U.S. aerospace, automotive, electronics, fulfillment and logistics industries. January 23, 2017

UMD Research Featured on Advanced Materials Technology Cover
Tactile sensor research by UMD alumni Alexi Charalambides (Ph.D. '16) and Professor Sarah Bergbreiter featured on Advanced Materials Technology cover. January 19, 2017

Congratulations ISR graduates!
These new alumni graduated from the University of Maryland in December 2016. December 20, 2016

Applications now being accepted for summer 2017 bioinspired robotics REU program
Hugh Bruck and Sarah Bergbreiter are leading the NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. November 15, 2016

UMD Microrobotic Work Featured in IEEE Spectrum
IEEE Spectrum spotlights Bergbreiter and St. Pierre's work on "the tiniest little quadruped robot ever seen." June 6, 2016

Four ISR students named to Clark School Future Faculty Fellow program
The program prepares Ph.D. students for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools. April 19, 2016

Bergbreiter named director of Maryland Robotics Center
Microrobotics expert brings both research expertise and leadership accomplishments to position. December 23, 2015

Robotics Realization Laboratory opens
Multi-user facility will help researchers build, test robots. September 28, 2015

Bergbreiter, Kanold part of new MURI research teams
University of Maryland researchers are involved with six of the 22 MURI teams just announced. June 9, 2015

Penskiy Awarded UMD Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship
Mechanical Engineering graduate student Ivan Penskiy receives 2015-2016 Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship. April 17, 2015

New AFOSR NIFTI Center features eight Clark School faculty
Center will create bio-inspired solutions for small, remotely operated aircraft. April 14, 2015

Sarah Bergbreiter gives TED Talk on microrobotics
She appeared at TEDYouth 2014 in New York City. January 22, 2015

UMD President Loh hosts robotics demonstrations at University House
Maryland Robotics Center shows a variety of robotic platforms. November 16, 2014

UMD engineers create tiny, robust rubber micro-component.
Small, efficient and robust microdevice component sips very little energy September 25, 2014

New NSF grant funds research to build network of tiny robots for bridge inspection
Nuno Martins, Sarah Bergbreiter, Richard La to collaborate with Resensys on development of semi-autonomous system. August 29, 2014

Students present final projects for 2014 NSF Microrobotics REU
Research ranged from robotic skin to leg designs, inertial tail actuators, and more. August 10, 2014

Bergbreiter to attend NAE U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
Microrobotics researcher one of 83 "outstanding young engineers" invited to prestigious event. July 7, 2014

Clark School Faculty Promotions Announced
Faculty promoted to full professor, associate professor with tenure. June 5, 2014

Sarah Bergbreiter promoted to associate professor with tenure
Bergbreiter, a 2013 PECASE Award winner, directs the Microrobotics Laboratory. May 14, 2014

Srivastava, Dey, Mirsky, King win 2014 ISR Awards
Awards honor outstanding faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff. May 7, 2014

Bergbreiter and Paley Honored at White House Ceremony
UMD researchers were honored yesterday at the White House as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). April 16, 2014

Bergbreiter's Robotics Research Featured in NSF's Science Nation
'As fast as their tiny 'bot' legs will carry them! Micro-robots, smaller than a penny, could one day swarm to the rescue.' April 8, 2014

Bergbreiter wins Clark School MRI award
Robotics Realization Lab will provide new capabilities for robotics research. February 4, 2014

Derek Paley wins PECASE Award
ISR/AE faculty member has research interests in dynamics and control. December 23, 2013

Sarah Bergbreiter wins PECASE Award
ISR/ME faculty member specializes in microrobotics. December 23, 2013

Bergbreiter one of '25 women in robotics you need to know about'
She's honored for 'packing impressive capabilities in tiny mobile robots.' October 22, 2013

UMD Hosts NSF-Funded Cybersecurity Undergraduate Research Program
Undergraduate scholars gain research experience through summer program at the Maryland Cybersecurity Center. September 6, 2013

UAE students, Northrop Grumman engineers tour robotics laboratories
Visitors were in town for the annual AUVSI conference. August 14, 2013

REU in Miniature Robotics holds final project symposium
Nine projects range from wings for MAVs to vision sensors for small robots to small grasping hands. August 14, 2013

IEEE Spectrum website features quadruped microrobot
Super-fast robot developed in Sarah Bergbreiter's Microrobotics Lab. June 7, 2013

NanoCenter members create tiny inchworm motor with flexible arms
A tiny creeping motor is easy to manufacture and stronger than ever January 10, 2013

Bergbreiter wins National Robotics Initiative grant for 'active skins'
Project is one of eight announced by NASA. September 24, 2012

Miniature Robotics REU students give final presentations
Ten undergrads from around the country give talks on their summer projects. August 10, 2012

Espy-Wilson, Bergbreiter receive ADVANCE Seed Grants
Fifteen projects funded for 2012. June 13, 2012

Antbot research profiled in Pacific Standard magazine
Article explores potential of antbots in search and rescue operations June 12, 2012

ISR welcomes 10 REU microbotics students for the summer
Students will develop interdisciplinary research projects in 10-week program. June 4, 2012

Undergrad Carlos Casarez wins Goldwater Scholarship
Student of Sarah Bergbreiter receives premier award for undergraduates interested in research. April 1, 2012

ISR organizes NSF Workshop on Micro, Nano, Biosystems
Event is held March 30-31 in Arlington, Va. March 27, 2012

Six ISR grad students in Clark School Future Faculty Program
Program helps students prepare for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools. February 14, 2012

Bergbreiter and students win NTF Award at IROS 2011
Award is for the research, "First Leaps Toward Jumping Microrobots." October 4, 2011

IEEE Spectrum features story on jumping robots
Sarah Bergbreiter's work with insect-inspired microrobots is highlighted. October 3, 2011

New REU site to offer research opportunities in miniature robotics
Sarah Bergbreiter is principal investigator for NSF program. June 15, 2011

Maryland students impress at National Robotics Week
Projects highlight Maryland Robotics Center research. April 18, 2011

Nuno Martins promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure
Dr. Martins' research interests are in control theory, estimation and information theory. April 12, 2011

Sarah Bergbreiter wins NSF CAREER Award
Grant supports development of legs that can move microrobots quickly over rough terrain. February 21, 2011

Schaler Earns Prestigious Churchill Scholarship
Mechanical engineering major will use funds towards study of micro and nanotech. January 19, 2011

Bergbreiter, Gerratt, Penskiy win Best Conference Paper Award
Award presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. May 6, 2010

Clark School honors Rajkowski, Beyaz, Banerjee for student research
Students score in Dean's Student Research Award Competition. May 6, 2010

Martins, Abshire, Smela, Bergbreiter win $1.5 million NSF grant
The team will develop self-organizing ant-sized microrobots. September 25, 2009

Ornithopter, optical microsensor win ISR seed grants
Research by Bergbreiter, Gupta, Ghodssi and Culver to be given one-year funding. May 20, 2009

Bergbreiter interviewed on robot podcast
ISR faculty member talks about her work with micro-sized jumping robots. December 8, 2008

REU students spending summer in research
The 12 undergraduate students are participating in NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. June 3, 2008

Bergbreiter wins 2008 DARPA Young Faculty Award
Research will develop mechanisms for autonomous jumping microrobots. April 1, 2008