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Jaakko Karras


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 107-203B

Pasadena, CA 91109



Member of:

347A - Embedded Robotic Systems

Jaakko Karras


Jaakko Karras received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, where he worked on tactile sensing for origami-inspired legged robots under the guidance of Prof. Ron Fearing. Prior to Berkeley, he attended Harvey Mudd College, graduating with a B.S. in Engineering (with emphases in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). Jaakko has developed electronics and software for robotic systems on both flight and research projects. He has also led development of the JPL PUFFER pop-up rover technology. Jaakko is currently working on the Mars Helicopter and Autonomous PUFFER projects.


M.S. Electrical Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2013
B.S. Engineering, Harvey Mudd College, 2010

Professional Experience

2014 – Present: Robotics Electrical Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Current JPL Roles:
* Mars Helicopter – Avionics and Motor Control
* Autonomous PUFFER – Deputy Project Manager

Previous JPL Experience:
* PUFFER Pop-Up Rover – Project Manager
* BioSleeve Gesture Control – Embedded Electronics and Software
* Climbing Robots – Embedded Electronics and Software

Sep 2013 – Feb 2014: Robotics Intern, HRL Laboratories

Aug 2010 – Aug 2013: Graduate Research Asst., Dept. of EECS, UC Berkeley

Research Interests

Folding Robots, Motor Control, Sensing and Perception, Embedded Systems (Hardware and Software)

Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

Research Tasks
PUFFER Concept Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robots


  1. Joshua Anderson, Jaakko Karras, Martin Cacan, Gerik Kubiak, Guy Pyrzak, Harel Dor, Benjamin Pipenberg, "Ingenuity, One Year of Flying on Mars," IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, pp. 1-18, 04 March 2023.
  2. A. Brinkman, J. Karras, D. Zhu, N. Abcouwer, T. Brown, G. Kubiak, A. Umali, L. Tse, J. Zitkus, R. Mccormick, "Leveraging Ingenuity Software and Avionics to Enable Robotic Arm Sampling for COLDArm," 2023 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-9, 04 March 2023.
  3. D. Newill-Smith, J. Shatts, R. P. Dillon, J. Karras, A. Brinkman, S. Backus, A. Umali, R. McCormick, L. Fradet, J. Laramee, G. Levanas, and R. Fleischner, "Cold Operable Lunar Deployable Arm (COLDArm) System Development and Test," 2023 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1109/AERO55745.2023.10115649, 04 March 2023.
  1. T. Tzanetos, M. Aung, J. Balaram, H. Grip, J. Karras, T. Canham, G. Kubiak, J. Anderson, G. Merewether, M. Pauken, S. Cappucci, M. Chase, M. Golombek, O. Toupet, M. Smart, E. Ramirez, J. Lam, R. Stern, N. Chahat, J. Ravich, R. Hogg, B. Pipenberg, M. Keennon, K. Williford, "Ingenuity Mars Helicopter: From Technology Demonstration to Extraterrestrial Scout," 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference (AERO), Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 01-19, 05 March 2022.
  1. J.T. Karras, C.L. Fuller, K.C. Carpenter, A. Buscicchio, D. McKeeby, C.J. Norman, C.E. Parcheta, I. Davydychev, R.S. Fearing, "Pop-up Mars Rover with Textile-Enhanced Rigid-Flex PCB Body," IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 01 January 2017.
  1. C. Assad, M.T. Wolf, J. Karras, J. Reid, A. Stoica,, "JPL BioSleeve for Gesture-Based Control: Technology Development and Field Trials," IEEE Int. Conf. on Tech. for Practical Robot Applications, 01 January 2015.
  2. D.W. Haldane, C.S. Casarez, J.T. Karras, J. Lee, C. Li, A.O. Pullin, E.W. Schaler, D. Yun, H. Ota, A. Javey, R.S. Fearing, "Integrated Manufacture of Exoskeletons and Sensing Structures for Folded Millirobots," J. Mechanisms Robotics, 01 January 2015.
  1. J.T. Karras, D.W. Haldane, R.S. Fearing, "Rapid-Manufacturable Hair Sensor Array for Legged Millirobots," IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Robots and Systems, 01 January 2012.