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Matthew DiCicco


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105
Pasadena, CA 91109





Matthew DiCicco

Member of Technical Staff


Matt DiCicco is a member of technical staff at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is a member of the Mobility and Manipulation group within the Mobility and Robotic Systems section.

He received a masters degree from MIT in 2005 where he studied high power robotic manipulators for the Navy. His research focused on designing and analyzing an interface whereby operators interact directly with the end-effector of a large, powerful robot arm.

Before MIT, Matt received a BS from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003, focusing in Mechanical Engineering but also receiving a minor in Robotics. While at CMU, he was involved in a project to restore rudimentary functionality to the limbs of quadriplegics through the use of robotic technologies.

Matt takes inspiration from the simplicity and effectiveness with which humans move about in and interact with the real world. Through his work at JPL he works towards realizing improved manipulation and mobility through research tasks and flight projects.

Currently he is working on simulation software and hardware testing for the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission.


M.S. in Mechanical Engineering - MIT, 2005
Thesis Title: "Force Control of Heavy Lift Manipulators for High Precision Insertion Tasks."
Advisor: Prof. Steven Dubowsky

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Robotics Minor - Carnegie Mellon, 2003
Thesis Title: "A Muscle Controlled Orthotic Exoskeleton for the Hand"
Advisor: Prof. Yoky Matsuoka

Professional Experience

JPL - Member of Technical Staff
September 2007 to Present
JPL - Associate Member of Technical Staff
June 2005 to September 2007

Experience Prior to JPL:
Research Assistant - The Field and Space Robotics Laboratory, MIT
Research Assistant - The Neurobotics Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute
Concepts Development Engineer - The US Army TAACOM-ARDEC (Picatinny Arsenal)

Research Interests

Control system design and analysis
Kinematics and dynamics of mechanisms
Simulation and visualization
Manipulator kinematics and control
Teleoperation and force control
Vision guided manipulation
Concepts development


  1. L. Lucas, M. DiCicco, Y. Matsuoka, "An EMG-Controlled Hand Exoskeleton for Natural Pinching," Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics, Vol. 16, No. 5, 482-488, 17 September 2020.
  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. M. Bajracharya, M. DiCicco, K. Nickels, P. Backes, "End-Effector Position Error Compensation for Planetary Robotics," Journal of Field Robotics, 24(5), 01 May 2007.
  2. M. DiCicco, M. Bajracharya, K. Nickels, P. Backes, "The EPEC Algorithm for Vision Guided Manipulation: Analysis and Validation," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 March 2007.
  3. W. Becker, M. DiCicco, J. Garretson, S. Dubowsky, "A Control Architecture for a Mobile Heavy-Lift Precision Manipulator with Limited Sensory Information," Robotica, Vol. 25, Issue 2, 221-235, 01 March 2007.
  4. K. Nickels, E. Huber, M. DiCicco, "Hand-Eye Coordination Using Active Vision," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 March 2007.
  1. M. Bajracharya, M. DiCicco, P. Backes, "Vision-Based End-Effector Position Error Compensation," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 March 2006.
  2. Daniel Helmick, Avi Okon, and Matt DiCicco, "A Comparison of Force Sensing Techniques for Planetary Manipulation," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 March 2006.
  3. D. Helmick, M. DiCicco, "Evaluation of a Low-Temperature Single-Axis Force Sensor for the MSL SA/SPaH Subsystem," JPL Tech Report D-35482, 01 February 2006.
  1. M. DiCicco, "Force Control of Heavy Lift Manipulators for High Precision Insertion Tasks," MS Thesis, MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering, 01 May 2005.
  1. M. DiCicco, L. Lucas, Y. Matsuoka, "Comparison of Control Strategies for an EMG Controlled Orthotic Exoskeleton for the Hand," Proceedings of the 2004 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '04), 01 May 2004.