Cynthia Sung

Cynthia Sung

Gabel Family Term Assistant Professor, MEAM; Secondary faculty, CIS & ESE

Cynthia Sung is the Gabel Family Term Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) and a member of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception (GRASP) lab at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a Ph.D. (2016) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, advised by Prof. Daniela Rus, and a B.S. (2011) in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University. Her research interest is computational design and fabrication for robotic systems, with a particular focus on origami-inspired and compliant robots. She is the recipient of a 2023 ONR Young Investigator award, 2019 NSF CAREER award, 2020 Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Scholars Award, and a 2017 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award.

Research Groups


Soft Hybrid Aerial Vehicle via Bistable Mechanism

Publisher IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

REBOund: Untethered origami jumping robot with controllable jump height

Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Optimal structure synthesis for environment augmenting robots

Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Animatronic soft robots by additive folding

Publisher SAGE Publications

Leveraging compliance in origami robot legs for robust and natural locomotion

Publisher International Meeting of Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education

Programmable 3-d surfaces using origami tessellations

Publisher International Meeting on Origami in Science, Mathematics, and Education (OSME)

Spotlight on origami robots

Publisher Science Robotics

Functional co-optimization of articulated robots

Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Interactive robogami: An end-to-end system for design of robots with ground locomotion

Publisher International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR)

Self-folded soft robotic structures with controllable joints

Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)


Razaq Aribidesi

Robotics MSE - Accelerated Master's

Bruke Baraki

Robotics MSE - Accelerated Master's

Dongsheng Chen

Robotics MSE '19; PhD, MEAM

Daniel Feshbach


Sarah Ho

Robotics MSE - Accelerated Master's

William Hoganson

Robotics MSE

Christopher Kim


Shivangi Misra

Robotics MSE '20; PhD, ESE

Yuka Nakada

Robotics MSE - Accelerated Master's

Siddharth Panchanadam

Robotics MSE - Accelerated Master's

Seth Rogers

Robotics MSE - Submatric

Gabriel Unger


Yifan Wang

Robotics MSE

Susan Zhao

Robotics MSE (On Leave of Absence)


Rebecca Abramowitz

Robotics MSE '18 - Software Engineer, Aurora

Yug Ajmera

Robotics MSE '23

Jaimie Carlson

Robotics MSE '19, Applied Scientist II - Amazon Global Robotics

Kevin Chazotte

Robotics MSE '21 - Neocis

Jason Friedman

Robotics MSE - Accelerated Master's '23

Lindsay Gardner

Robotics MSE '18 - Apple

Zhuoyu He

Robotics MSE '21

Zetong Jia

Robotics MSE '21

Enri Kina

Robotics MSE '21

Adarsh Kulkarni

Robotics MSE '21 - Autonomy and AI Applications Engineer, Ghost Robotics

Cheryl Liu

Robotics MSE '17

Samantha Lunt

Robotics MSE - Submatric '20

Avery Price

Robotics MSE '21 - Nuro

Sarah Rossman

Robotics MSE '21

Celestina Saven

Robotics MSE '22

Hansell Stedman

Robotics MSE '19

Lilian Stoesser

Robotics MSE '22 - Deeplocal

Yuchen Sun

Robotics MSE '22

Inbar Tivon

Robotics MSE - '20

Yongyi Wang

Robotics MSE '19

Yifan Yuan

Robotics MSE '21

Hongji Yuan

Robotics MSE '21

Xiaozhou Zhang

Robotics MSE '21 - Software Engineer,

Daoqi Zhang

Robotics MSE '20

Qinyi Zhu

Robotics MSE '20

Kinegami: Algorithmic Design of Compliant Kinematic Chains From Tubular Origami

Cynthia Sung

Research Areas

  • Computational Design
  • Origami Robots
  • Soft Robotics
  • Medical Robots