Mark Yim

Interview Location: United States

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Yim discusses his career and contributions, focusing on his work with modular robotics. Commenting on the applications and the challenges of robotics and patenting, he outlines various collaborations and involvement in robotics projects, including the development of a robotic arm and DARPA's Nano Air Vehicle. Additionally he provides advice for young people interested in the field.


Mark Yim was born in Cheverly, Maryland. He obtained a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Johns Hopkins University in 1987 and attended Stanford University where he completed a M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 1989 and 1994, respectively. After graduating from Stanford, he joined a startup company (Virtual Technologies) before moving to Xerox PARC, where he obtained a DARPA grant to continue his work in modular reconfigurable robots. He left industry for academia, coming to the University of Pennsylvania for his current position as the Gabel Family Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He is also involved with the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab. His research interests focus on robotics, mechanical systems and design, modular reconfigurable robots and locomotion (Polybot), MEMS and batch fabrication techniques, and brute force digital time optimal control.