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Vladimir Arutyunov


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91109




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Member of:

347B - Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators

Vladimir Arutyunov

Member of Technical Staff


8/10 - 12/15 California State University Northridge - B.S., Mechanical Engineering, minor in Sustainability. Cum Laude.

Professional Experience

(2018-Present) Mars 2020 Rover, Sampling & Caching Subsystem, Adaptive Caching Assembly. Sample Handling Assembly V&V and Bit Exchange testing.
(2017-2018) Mars Science Laboratory Surface Operations. Feed-Extended Drilling (FED) early testing. Lead for engineering-model rover force-torque sensor replacement operation.
(2015-2017) Asteroid Redirect Mission, Capture Module; conceptualization, design, fabrication/assembly, and testing for microspine gripper tool drivetrain.
(2014) IRIS - In-situ & Remote Inspection Robot; Gecko gripper end effector mechanical design and testing

Research Interests

Effective Altruism, Emerging Technologies, Philosophy of Engineering, robotic systems engineering, extraterrestrial sampling and mobility, engineering methodology, engineering education.


JPL Voyager Award, 2018. For outstanding technical excellence developing and conducting the replacement of the faulty Robotic Arm Force Torque Sensor in VSTB.

NASA Honor Award, 2018.
MSL VSTB Support and Upgrade Team – Group Achievement Award
For outstanding achievement supporting and improving the MSL VSTB in parallel with high priority testing support, anomaly investigations and hardware re-configurations.

JPL Team Award, 2016.
Microspine Tool for the Asteroid Redirect Mission.
For major progress with microspine gripper tool development leading to successful passing of the KDP-B milestone.

Young Engineer Award 2015 - Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America.


  1. A. Parness, A. Willig, A. Berg, M. Shekels, V. Arutyunov, C. Dandino, B. Kennedy., "A Microspine Tool: Grabbing and Anchoring to Boulders on the Asteroid Redirect Mission.," IEEE Aerospace 2017, 01 January 2017.
  1. G. Youssef, V. Arutyunov., "An Approach to Integrate Systems Engineering into Senior Design," 2016 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, 26 June 2016.
  1. Jiang et al., "Scaling Controllable Adhesives to Grapple Floating Objects in Space," International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2015, 01 May 2015.
  1. Ho et al., "Design and Evaluation of NextGen Aircraft Separation Assurance Concepts," DASC 2012, 01 October 2012.