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Curtis Collins


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91109

Member of:

3472 - Robotic Systems Staff

Dr. Curtis Collins

Member of Technical Staff


Dr. Collins received the B.S. Degree in Bioengineering from the University of California San Diego and the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Irvine. After completing his degree he taught kinematic robotics and design at the California Institute of Technology the University of California Riverside and the University of California Irvine. While at Caltech he helped to restructure the Mechanical Engineering Design Laboratory course and continues to work with faculty to improve student design experience. Dr. Collins joined JPL in 2005. His research interests include the design and analysis of parallel and multi-limbed mechanisms simulation and visualization of multi-loop mechanical systems and novel kinematic and mechanical designs for advanced mobility systems.


Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of California Irvine 1997.

M.S. Mechanical Engineering
University of California Irvine 1993.

B.S. Bioengineering
University of California San Diego 1990.

Professional Experience

Staff Engineer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory Caltech. Develop kinematic algorithms for multi-limbed robots. Develop mechanical design concepts for sample return studies.

Visiting Associate: California Institute of Technology. Responsible for running courses in kinematics robotics and mechanical engineering design.

Assistant Research Engineer: University of California Irvine. Performed research in constrained robotic system design and multi-body rolling contact kinematics.

Research Interests

Design and analysis of parallel manipulators and multi-limb robots.

Analysis design and fabrication of rolling contact mechanisms.

Design software user interface development using Java and OpenGL.

Interdisciplinary applications of kinematic modeling and design.


  1. B. Weiss, E. Mansbach, J. Carsten, K. Kaplan, J. Maki, R. Wiens, T. Bosak, C. Collins, J. Fentress, J. Feinberg, Y. Goreva, M. Kennedy Wu, T. Estlin, D. Klein, R. Kronyak, R. Moeller, N. Peper, A. Reyes-Newell, M. Sephton, D. Shuster, J. Simon, K. Williford, K. Stack, and K. Farley, "Oriented Bedrock Samples Drilled by the Perseverance Rover on Mars," Earth and Space Science, vol. 11, issue 3, 04 March 2024.
  1. Jenkins, J., M. Dolci, C. Collins, and P. Younse, "Robotic Arm Design and Analysis Repository," IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, 05 March 2022.
  1. Backes, P., Younse, P., DiCicco, M., Hudson N., Collins C., Allwood A., Paolini R., Male C., Ma, J., Steele, A., Conrad, P., "Experimental Results of Rover-Based Coring and Caching," IEEE Aerospace Conference 2011, 09 May 2012.
  1. J. Townsend, J. Biesiadecki, C. Collins, "ATHLETE Mobility Performance with Active Terrain Compliance," IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Monatana, March 2010, #1530, 06 October 2010.
  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.