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John Mayo


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91109



John Mayo

Member of Technical Staff


John is a robotics mechanical engineer in the Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators at JPL. John received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M in 2014 and Master of Science of the same from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016. John works on the Hermetic Sealing Assembly for the Mars 2020 Rover, the end effector for the Mars Sample Return Campaign, and is Field Test Lead on the JPL-led team CoSTAR in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. As part of his graduate studies, John worked on hardware for the HERMES humanoid robot, developing a hybrid hand-foot device under direction of Sangbae Kim. Additionally, John co-founded and led the MIT Hyperloop Team to design and build a magnetically levitated vehicle and participated as a mentor in the new student-led shop, MIT Makerworks.


M.S., M.E. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016
B.S., M.E. Texas A&M University, 2014

Professional Experience

JPL, Robotics Mechanical Engineer, Sept 2016-Present
SpaceX, Ground Support Equipment Engineering Intern, Summer 2013
Boeing, Tool Engineering Intern, Summer 2012
NASA, Johnson Space Center Robotics Intern, Summer 2011

Research Interests

Mechanism design, modular robotics, robotic end effectors, mobility platform mechanical design and concept development


  1. Ali-akbar Agha-mohammadi, et al., "NeBula: Quest for Robotic Autonomy in Challenging Environments; TEAM CoSTAR at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge," Journal of Field Robotics, 21 March 2021.
  2. Shreyansh Daftry, Barry Ridge, William Seto, Tu-Hoa Pham, Peter Ilhardt, Gerard Maggiolino, Mark Van der Merwe, Alex Brinkman, John Mayo, Eric Kulczyski, Renaud Detry, "Machine Vision based Sample-tube Localization for Mars Sample Return," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 06 March 2021.
  1. T. Pham, W. Seto, S. Daftry, A. Brinkman, J. Mayo, C. Padgett, E. Kulczycki, R. Detry, "Rover Localization for Tube Pickup: Dataset, Methods and Validation for Mars Sample Return Planning," IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, 05 February 2020.
  1. R. Mukherjee, B. Chamberlain Simon, K. Wehage, J. Mayo, P. Ohta, A. Brinkman, J. Gross, W. Ubellacker, R. Smith, M. Dolci, N. Abcouwer, K. Junggon, "Testbeds and Technologies for Potential Mars Orbital Sample Capture and Manipulation," 2018 IEEE, 10 March 2018.