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Wyatt Ubellacker


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105
Pasadena, CA 91101



Wyatt Lee Ubellacker

Robotics Technologist


Wyatt Ubellacker is a robotics technologist in the Manipulation and Sampling Group as part of the Mobility and Robotics Systems Section at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. Within this group, Wyatt works on software and control of robotic systems spanning sample acquisition and handling to high degree of freedom planning and coordination. He is currently the Flight Software and Algorithms Lead for the Adaptive Caching Assembly on the Mars 2020 Rover. Prior to this, Wyatt received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 and his M.S. in the same program in 2016. As part of his graduate studies, Wyatt worked on hardware and software for the HERMES humanoid robot under the direction of Sangbae Kim where he developed a real-time gait controller for limited-information uneven terrain. Outside of of work and research, Wyatt enjoys swimming and competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials and was a 2013 World Trials and 2015 U.S. Nationals finalist.


M.S., M.E. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016
B.S., M.E. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013

Professional Experience

Flight Software and Algorithms Lead- Adaptive Caching Assembly, Mars 2020 Rover
Ground Support Equipment Software Lead- Sample Caching Subsystem, Mars 2020 Rover
Robotics Researcher- Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory, MIT
- Researched fabrication and control of highly complex and dynamic nature-inspired systems.
- Developed a system for “human-in-the-loop” control of a humanoid robot, utilizing human proprioception for balance and control.
- Developed limited-information gait controller for uneven terrain

Robotics Researcher- dArbeloff Laboratory, MIT
- Researched highly maneuverable underwater robotics for inspecting nuclear power plants.
- Developed a compact and robust serial acoustic communication system.
- Modeled non-trivial fluid dynamics of robot to develop an effective control system.

Research Interests

Robotic kinematic and dynamic coordination for high performance systems.
Formulating hardware morphologies that take advantage of kinematic and dynamic workspaces.
Automated planning for manipulation and mobility.


  1. Tamas G. Molnar, Katherine Tighe, Wyatt Ubellacker, Arash Kalantari, Aaron D. Ames, "Mechanical Design, Planning, and Control for Legged Robots in Distillation Columns," ASME Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics, Vol. 18, Issue 6, 01 June 2023.
  1. R. Mukherjee, B. Chamberlain Simon, K. Wehage, J. Mayo, P. Ohta, A. Brinkman, J. Gross, W. Ubellacker, R. Smith, M. Dolci, N. Abcouwer, K. Junggon, "Testbeds and Technologies for Potential Mars Orbital Sample Capture and Manipulation," 2018 IEEE, 10 March 2018.
  2. 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.