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Avi Okon


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 303-410

Pasadena, CA 91109

Member of:

3472 - Robotic Systems Staff

Avi Okon

Group Leader


Avi Okon is a member of the technical staff in the Robotics Hardware Group at JPL. His experiences have varied from robotic hardware design to robotic force control algorthim development.
Avi joined JPL in the Spring of 2001 while completing his undergraduate studies at UCLA. After the completion of his Bachelors degree, Avi remained a JPL acedemic part-time employee while pursuing his masters degree also at UCLA.
Avi currently holds the position of Cognizant Engineer of the SPaH hardware for the Mars Science Laboratory flight mission.


M.S., Mechanical Engineering
University of California, Los Angeles 2005

Thesis: In-situ Characterization of Climbing Hold Features using Tactile Sensing

B.S., Mechanical Engineering
University of California, Los Angeles 2002

Professional Experience

Cognizant Engineer, SPaH Hardware, MSL, 2006 - Present

Task Manager, Construction Resource Utilization eXplorer: Instrument Deployment Platform, 2005

Robotics Control Algorithm Engineer for In-Space Assembly and AWIMR task, 2005

Force sensor integration and control algorithm development for Robotic Construction Crew, 2004 - 2005

Harware support engineer for many tasks including: LEMUR (I, IIA & IIB), FIDO, Rover Maintenance, Robot Work Crew, Tactical Mobile Robot, 2001 - 2004

Research Interests

Robotic Hardware Design
Motion / Force Control Algorthim Developement
Multi-limbed robots
Automonous Robotic Assembly and Construction
Automonous Climbing Robots


  1. K. Nickels, B. Kennedy, H. Aghazarian, C. Collins, M. Garrett, A. Okon, J. Townsend, "Vision-Guided Self-Alignment and Manipulation in a Walking Robot," Proceedings, 2006 IEEE International Conference on System of Systems Engineering, 24 April 2006.
  2. Daniel Helmick, Avi Okon, and Matt DiCicco, "A Comparison of Force Sensing Techniques for Planetary Manipulation," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 March 2006.
  1. A. Stroupe, T. Huntsberger, A. Okon, H. Aghazarian, and M. Robinson, "Behavior-Based Multi-Robot Collaboration for Autonomous Construction Tasks," Proceedings of IROS 2005, 01 January 2005.