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Nikos Mavrakis


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109

Member of:

347J - Perception Systems

Dr. Nikos Mavrakis

JPL Postdoctoral Fellow


Nikos Mavrakis is a JPL postdoctoral Fellow at the the Perception Systems group, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He holds a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from National Technical University of Athens (Greece, 2014), a M.Sc in Space Studies from KU Leuven (Belgium, 2015) and a Ph.D in Robotics from University of Birmingham (UK, 2020). Before joining JPL he was a Research Fellow at University of York (UK) working on evolutionary robotic grasping, and a Research Fellow at Surrey Space Centre (UK) working on grasping for space debris removal.

At JPL, he is part of the Mars Sample Return campaign, working on visual localization and pose estimation for the sample transfer between the M2020 rover and the Sample Transfer System.


  • Ph.D. in Robotics, Extreme Robotics Lab, University of Birmingham, UK (2020)
  • M.Sc. in Space Studies, KU Leuven, Beligum (2015)
  • Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (2014)

Professional Experience

  • Research Fellow in Evolutionary Robotics, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of York, UK (2021-2022)
  • Research Fellow in Orbital Robotics, Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, UK (2018-2021)

Research Interests

  • Vision-based robotic grasping and manipulation
  • Task-informed robotic manipulation
  • Applications of robotic grasping in space
  • Evolutionary robotics

Full list of publications on Google Scholar


  • Finalist Award for Best Interactive Paper, IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (2016)