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Sawyer Brooks


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91109

Member of:

347R - Operable Robotics

Sawyer Brooks

Member of Technical Staff


Sawyer is a member of the Robotic Manipulation and Sampling Group. He received his Masters and Bachelors degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also worked on a robotic boat for low-cost ocean exploration, and he was heavily involved in improving mechanical engineering undergraduate laboratory courses. As a software engineer at JPL, Sawyer develops arm software for the Mars 2020 rover and for the Mars Sample Return campaign. He also led the development of Limbi, a self-mobile robotic limb for in-space assembly.


MSE in Robotics, University of Pennsylvania, 2015
BSE in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania, 2014

Research Interests

Reconfigurable robots
Robotic in-space assembly
Real-time manipulation planning
Planetary and ocean exploration


  1. V. Verma, F. Hartman, A. Rankin, M. Maimone, T. Del Sesto, O. Toupet, E. Graser, S. Myint, K. Davis, D. Klein, J. Koch, S. Brooks, P. Bailey , H. Justice, M. Dolci, H. Ono, "First 210 solar days of Mars Perseverance Robotic Operations - Mobility, Robotics Arm, Sampling, and Helicopter," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 05 March 2022.
  2. S. Brooks, T. Litwin, J. Biesiadecki, N. Abcouwer, T. Del Sesto, M. McHenry, S. Myint, P. Twu, D. Wai, "Testing Mars 2020 Flight Software and Hardware in the Surface System Development Environment," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 March 2022.
  1. K Edelberg, P Backes, J Biesiadecki, S Brooks, D Helmick, W Kim, T Litwin B Metz, J Reid, A Sirota, W Ubellacker, P Vieira, "Software System for the Mars 2020 Mission Sampling and Caching Testbeds," DOI: 10.1109/AERO.2018.8396572, 01 January 2018.
  1. S. Brooks, P. Godart, P. Backes, B. Chamberlain-Simon, R. Smith, S. Karumanchi, "An Untethered Limb for Modular In-Space Assembly," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2016, 05 March 2016.