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Margaret M. Coad

PhD Candidate

Stanford University

Mechanical Engineering/Robotics

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I am a PhD candidate at Stanford University in mechanical engineering with Professor Allison Okamura. My research focuses on design, modeling, and control of novel robot systems that conduct useful tasks in spaces where humans cannot or do not wish to go. Areas of particular interest include: soft robotics; design and modeling of novel actuators, sensors, and energy storage elements; human interfaces for robot control and situational awareness; and field deployment of robot systems. Applications include: archeological and biological exploration; inspection of hazardous environments; remote manipulation; and minimally invasive surgery. My current research is on vine robots for search and rescue applications, as well as improving training of surgeons for robot-assisted surgery. Outside of academics, I play on the Stanford women's ultimate frisbee team and am an active member of the Catholic community at Stanford.



PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, expected 2020

MS, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2017

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015



S. Jeong, M. M. Coad, L. H. Blumenschein, M. Luo, U. Mehmood, J. Kim, A. M. Okamura, and J. Ryu, "A Tip Mount for Carrying Payloads using Soft Growing Robots," IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, 2020, submitted. arXiv  Video

F. Stroppa, M. Luo, K. Yoshida, M. M. Coad, L. H. Blumenschein, and A. M. Okamura, "Human Interface for Teleoperated Object Manipulation with a Soft Growing Robot," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2020, accepted. arXiv

M. M. Coad, R. P. Thomasson, L. H. Blumenschein, N. S. Usevitch, E. W. Hawkes, and A. M. Okamura, "Retraction of Soft Growing Robots without Buckling," IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2020, accepted. arXiv  Video

M. M. Coad, L. H. Blumenschein, S. Cutler, J. A. Reyna Zepeda, N. D. Naclerio, H. El-Hussieny, U. Mehmood, J. Ryu, E. W. Hawkes, and A. M. Okamura, "Vine Robots: Design, Teleoperation, and Deployment for Navigation and Exploration," IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 2019. IEEE Xplore  arXiv  Video

F. Stroppa, M. Luo, G. Gerboni, M. M. Coad, J. Walker, and A. M. Okamura, "Human-Centered Control of a Growing Soft Robot for Object Manipulation," IEEE World Haptics Conference Work-In-Progress, 2019. arXiv

Y. A. Oquendo, Z. Chua, M. M. Coad, I. Nisky, A. Jarc, S. Wren, T. S. Lendvay, and A. M. Okamura, "Robot-Assisted Surgical Training Over Several Days in a Virtual Surgical Environment with Divergent and Convergent Force Fields," Hamlyn Symposium,2019.

N. Enayati, A. M. Okamura, A. Mariani, E. Pellegrini, M. M. Coad, G. Ferrigno, and E. De Momi, "Robotic Assistance-as-Needed for Enhanced Visuomotor Learning in Surgical Robotics Training: An Experimental Study," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2018, pp. 6631-6636. IEEE Xplore  Video

M. M. Coad, A. M. Okamura, S. Wren, Y. Mintz, T. Lendvay, A. M. Jarc, and I. Nisky, "Training in Divergent and Convergent Force Fields During 6-DOF Teleoperation with a Robot-Assisted Surgical System," IEEE World Haptics Conference, 2017, pp. 195-200. IEEE Xplore


Media Coverage:

CBS Innovation Nation, Robots that grow as they slither along, October 2019: Video

Stanford Engineering, Robots help archeologists to explore pre-Incan ruins in Peru, December 2018: Article and Video

WIRED, The Clever Vine-Like Robot that Grows and Steers with Air, April 2018: Article and Video

NSF Science Nation, Soft "vine robots" grow into solutions, April 2018: Video