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Kalind Carpenter


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91101

Member of:

347Z - Advanced Robotic Systems

Kalind Carpenter

Robotics Mechanical Engineer


Kalind is a Robotics Engineer in the Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators Group (347B). The lab he works in focuses on rapid technology development and end effectors specifically tailored to gripping and rough surface mobility.
His current work includes (Co-I) on the pop-up flat folding explorer robots (PUFFER), designing the mobility system for and thermal testing the motors and components for Mars and Europa. This platform was originally proposed for exploring lava tubes on Mars and the Moon and is currently funded to climb steep slopes imaging stratigraphy on Mars. It has a secondary goal of assessing it for possible inclusion with a Europa lander to explore the surface and enter crevasses.
For the Ocean Worlds Mobility Study he is involved in ideation of mobility and sampling systems as well as designing a cryogenic ice test chamber. Also testing cryogenic ice for its mechanical properties and the viability of mobility techniques.
Kalind is supporting the micro ground vehicles task designing platforms and gripping prototypes for the wall climbing robots that utilize microspines, electrostatic and dry adhesives (Gecko adhesive) to climb vertical surfaces.
As a side project he is testing metallic glass harmonic gear flex cups leading into testing metallic glass cryogenic temperature ready ball bearings.
Previous work includes principal investigator on the variable radius wheel which is currently being implemented into the Buoyant Rover Under Ice Explorer (BRUIE) and being looked at as a deployable cutting wheel for ice sampling.
Lead engineer on the Cam Hand for Robosimian, JPL’s 5th place entrant to the DARPA robotics challenge.
Lead engineer on the gripping sub assembly of the asteroid gripper for the asteroid return mission, this prototype was able to conform to and grip a wide variety of surfaces and helped secure the final decision for the current ARM mission.
Mobility consultant and field engineer for Volcanobot which explores volcanic fissures mapping them for a better understanding of magma flow.
Test bed engineer for SLOCUM TREC which generated its power using energy harvesting through phase changing waxes and the thermal climes of the ocean. During this time he also worked on a proposal involving wind power generation with Jack Jones.
He completed his thesis work on rotary microspine rough surface mobility at JPL while attending CSULA. . This was through the master’s thesis program which he conceived and helped to create. This program is currently growing beyond CSULA to include Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA and possibly Harvey Mud.
At CSULA he worked for Space Center, a NASA university research center where he was in charge of three wind tunnels, a supersonic, reciprocating and blowout version. He is well versed in their design, building test setups and gathering valuable test data. This led to publishing a paper on supersonic combustion of emerging fuels.
His thesis research has led to a patent upcoming journal article and continued research into palm sized climbing platforms.


M.S. Mechanical Engineering, CSULA
B.S. Industrial Design, ASU

Professional Experience

Feb 2014 – Present: JPL, Robotics Mechanical Engineer
June 2012 – Feb 2014: JPL, Robotics Intern
Oct 2011 – June 2012: NASA URC Program at CSULA, NASA Student Research

Research Interests

Extreme environment exploration, end effectors, bio mimicry, microspine gripping, additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping.


  1. P. Bordeenithikasem, K. Carpenter, D. Hofmann, V. White, K. Yee, Q. Rizzardi, J. Maher, and R. Maa, "Miniaturized Bulk Metallic Glass Gripping Structures for Robotic Mobility Platforms," Acta Astronautica, vol. 219, pp. 399-407, 20 March 2024.
  2. T. S. Vaquero, G. Daddi, R. Thakker, M. Paton, A. Jasour, M. Strub, R. M. Swan, R. Royce, M. Gildner, P. Tosi, M. Veismann, P. Gavrilov, E. Marteau, J. Bowkett, D. Loret de Mola Lemus, Y. Kumar Nakka, B. Hockman, A. Orekhov, T. Hasseler, C. Leake, B. Nuernberger, P. Proenca, W. Reid, W. Talbot, N. Georgiev, T. Pailevanian, A. Archanian, E. Ambrose, J. Jasper, R. Etheredge, C. Roman, D. Levine, K. Otsu, S. Yearicks, H. Melikyan, R. Rieber, K. Carpenter, J. Nash, A. Jain, L. Shiraishi, M. Robinson, M. Travers, H. Choset, J. Burdick, A. Gardner, M. Cable, M. Ingham, and M. Ono, "EELS: Autonomous Snake-like Robot with Task and Motion Planning Capabilities for Ice World Exploration," Science Robotics, vol. 9, no. 88, 13 March 2024.
  3. J. Bell, L. Redmond, K. Carpenter, and J.P. de la Croix, "Finite Element Modeling of Rigid-Flex Printed-Circuit-Board Origami Robotics Subjected to Large-Scale Deformations," AIAA Journal, 29 February 2024.
  4. M. Ono, R. Thakker, N. Georgiev, P. Gavrilov, A. Archanian, T. Drevinskas, G. Daddi, M. Paton, H. Melikyan, T. Pailevanian, C. Lopez, E. Ambrose, B. Jones, L. Tosi, M. Gildner, B. Hockman, D. Loret de Mola Lemus, D. Pastor Moreno, T. Hasseler, Y. Kumar Nakka, E. Marteau, B. Nuernberger, M. Peticco, M. Cable, P. Proenca, M. Malaska, J. Bowkett, A. Jasour, M. Ingham, J. Nash, D. Balentine, A. Barchowsky, F. Bevreng, K. Botteon, M. Caballero, K. Carpenter, M. Chodas, A. Daca, J. Feldman, A. Gardner, A. Goddu, A. Jain, C. Jin, M. Khanum, R. Kornfeld, G. Mark, B. Morrell, J. Naish, W. Reid and R. Etheredge, "To Boldly Go Where No Robots Have Gone Before – Part 1: EELS Robot to Spearhead a New One-Shot Exploration Paradigm with In-situ Adaptation," AIAA Scitech 2024 Forum, Orlando, Florida, USA, pp. 1-23, 08 January 2024.
  1. K. Carpenter, M. L. Cable, M. Choukroun, S. Iacoponi, S. Moreland, M. Heverly, H. Nayar, B. Kennedy, J. Bowkett, W. Reid, "The Science Case for Surface Mobility on Icy Worlds," Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 53, p. 186, 01 May 2021.
  2. K. Carpenter, M. Cable, M. Choukroun, H. Ono, R. Thakker, M. Ingham, P. McGarey, A. Barchowski, S. Iacoponi, J. Bowkett, W. Reid, E. Marteou, "Venture Deep, the Path of Least Resistance: Crevasse-Based Ocean Access Without the Need to Dig or Drill," Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 356, 01 January 2021.
  1. S. Karumanchi, K. Edelberg, I. Baldwin, J. Nash, J. Reid, C. Bergh, J. Leichty, K. Carpenter, M. Shekels, M. Gildner, D. Newill-Smith, J. Carlton, J. Koehler, T. Dobreva, M. Frost, P. Hebert, J, Borders, J. Ma, B. Douillard, P. Backes, B. Kennedy, B. Satzinger, C. Lau, K. Byl, K. Shankar, J. Burdick, "Team RoboSimian: Semi-autonomous Mobile Manipulation at the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals," Journal of Field Robotics: Special Issue on the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, vol 34, issue 2, pp. 305-332, 18 October 2016.
  2. C. Parcheta, C. Pavlov, N. Wiltsie, K. Carpenter, J. Nash, A. Parness, K. Mitchell, "A Robotic Approach to Mapping Post-Eruptive Volcanic Fissure Conduits," Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, vol. 320, pp. 19-28, 15 June 2016.
  1. C. Parcheta, A. Parness, J. Nash, N. Wiltsie, K. Carpenter, and K. Mitchell, "Comparing Vent Surface Geometry with its Subsurface Structure," 46th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, vol. 1832, p. 1649, 01 January 2015.