Sarah Bergbreiter joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in the fall of 2018.

She received her B.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1999. After a short introduction to the challenges of sensor networks at a small startup company, she received the MS and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 and 2007 with a focus on microrobotics. She joined the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, with a joint appointment in the Institute for Systems Research.

She received the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2008, the NSF CAREER Award in 2011, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Award in 2013 for her research on engineering robotic systems down to sub-millimeter size scales. She also received the Best Conference Paper Award at IEEE ICRA 2010 for her work incorporating new materials into microrobotics.

A06 Scaife Hall
Google Scholar
Sarah Bergbreiter
Microrobotics Lab

Better Sensors and Mechanisms for Micro and Macro Robots


2007 Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

2004 MS, University of California, Berkeley

1999 B.S.E., Princeton University

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Grasshopping robots made possible with new, improved latch control

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have made grasshopping robots possible by uncovering that latches can mediate energy transfer between robotic jumpers and the environment that they are jumping from.

Popular Science

Bergbreiter talks insect-inspired robotics design

MechE’s Sarah Bergbreiter spoke to Popular Science about how jumping insects inspired the mechanics of her team’s recent design, a bouncing robot that can control energy transfers between surface and device using its launch mechanism. “It’s really fascinating that the latch— something that we already need in our robots—can be used to control outputs that we couldn’t have controlled before.”

Scientific American

Bergbreiter quoted on jumping robot

Recently, a world record has been broken in the field of autonomous jumping robots by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara using biomimicry. MechE’s Sarah Bergbreiter wrote a commentary about this event in Nature, which has been widely quoted in articles related to this event, including in Scientific American.

IEEE Spectrum

Bergbreiter, Majidi, and Webster-Wood featured in IEEE Spectrum

MechE’s Carmel Majidi, Sarah Bergbreiter, and Victoria Webster-Wood were featured on IEEE Spectrum, discussing softbotics.

CMU Engineering

Latch on, launch off

Researchers observe the fastest organisms in nature—Dracula ants, froghoppers, and spore-ejecting fungi—to investigate spring-powered latch mechanisms for robotics.

CMU Engineering

Making mechanical skin

These 3D printed circuits are self-healing, re-writable, and energy-harvesting, thanks to liquid metal.

Mechanical Engineering

At home with research

Despite the coronavirus shutdown, researchers and students were creative about continuing their work and joining the fight against COVID-19.


St. Pierre named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30

Forbes has named MechE postdoctoral researcher Ryan St. Pierre to its 30 Under 30 Science 2020 list. St. Pierre develops microscale, insect-inspired robots in Meche’s Sarah Bergbreiter’s lab.

Future Tech Podcast

Bergbreiter on micro robotics research

MechE’s Sarah Bergbreiter was a guest on the Future Tech Podcast and discussed her research in the field of robotics. Bergbreiter also discusses the different applications of microrobots as well as some of the challenges she has encountered.

Bergbreiter and Ozdoganlar awarded ASME Fellows

MechE’s Sarah Bergbreiter and Burak Ozdoganlar were named 2019 Fellows in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Mechanical Engineering

Working toward agile flight for small UAVs

Inspired by insects’ wings, Bergbreiter and her collaborators are looking to develop UAVs that can fly more efficiently and deal with disturbances like gusts or breezes.

Mechanical Engineering

Bergbreiter, Jayan win Army DURIP awards

Sarah Bergbreiter and B. Reeja Jayan have received Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) awards to purchase vital laboratory equipment for current research and the development of new ideas and techniques.