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Donald  Ruffatto's Picture
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Member of:
Extreme Environment Robotics Group

Donald Ruffatto, III
(Full description>>)

Biography (more>>)
Dr. Donald Ruffatto III earned the B.S. degree magna cum laude in 2009, the M.S. degree in 2011, and the Ph.D. degree in 2015, all in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2011 He was awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship to support his Ph.D. work on unique electrostatic and gecko-like attachment mechanisms for robotic climbing, gripping, and manipulator applications. As part of the fellowship program he worked eight months at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab throughout his graduate studies to further enhance his research.

After graduation, Dr. Ruffatto briefly continued work at the Illinois Institute of Technology as a Senior Research Associate on improving the novel hybrid adhesive developed during his Ph.D. research. Currently, he is working as a Robotics Mechanical Engineer at JPL on the development of small robotic climbing platforms which utilize the novel hybrid adhesive in combination with mirco-spines.

Education (more>>)
2015 - PhD Mechanical Engineering; Illinois Institute of Technology

2011 - M.S. Mechanical Engineering; Illinois Institute of Technology

2009 - B.S. Mechanical Engineering; Illinois Institute of Technology

Professional Experience (more>>)
Nov 2015 - Present: JPL, Robotics Mechanical Engineer

Jul 2015 - Nov 2015: Illinois Institute of Technology, Senior Research Associate

May 2009 - Jul 2015: Illinois Institute of Technology, Graduate Research Assistant

Research Interests (more>>)
- Adhesive Technologies
- Robotic Manipulation
- Robotic Mobility in Challenging Environments

Selected Publications (more>>)

D. Ruffatto, A. Parness, M. Spenko, "Improving controllable adhesion on both rough and smooth surfaces with a hybrid electrostatic/gecko-like adhesive," Journal of The Royal Society Interface, Vol. 11, p. 93, 2014.

D. Ruffatto, J. Shah, M. Spenko, "Increasing the adhesion force of electrostatic adhesives using optimized electrode geometry and a novel manufacturing process," Journal of Electrostatics, Vol. 72, p. 147-155, 2014.

D. Ruffatto, D. Beganovic, A. Parness, M. Spenko, "Experimental results of a controllable electrostatic/gecko-like adhesive on space materials," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2014.

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