Dr. Ujjaval Gupta, Ph.D. (NUS)

Research Fellow, Digital Manufacturing and Design Center,
Engineering Product and Development Pillar,
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Ujjaval Gupta Profile Photo

About me

I am an interdisciplinary research scientist focusing on robotics, wearables, machine learning, and mechanics, and interested in developing cutting-edge technologies to solve current and challenging problems. I completed my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and served as a research fellow at the Digital Manufacturing and Design (DManD) Centre of Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). During my Ph.D. program at NUS, I specialized on the development of soft robots and devices powered by dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs), while also investigating their mechanics. Notably, I designed a vibration shaker device capable of providing adjustable haptic feedback. Another significant achievement was the creation of a robotic jaw that employed DEAs as artificial muscles to imitate natural jaw movement. To achieve deformation control of soft robots, I developed viscoelastic nonlinear dynamic models to accurately represent their behaviour and implemented a model-based feedforward controller. Additionally, I developed a novel soft transparent robot that showcased exceptional camouflage abilities. I have published my research findings in highly reputable journals such as Extreme Mechanics Letters, Applied Physics Letters, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Advanced Functional Materials, Soft Robotics and Advanced Healthcare Materials and have presented them at esteemed academic conferences. Check all publications here.

During my postdoctoral work at NUS, I focused on the development of bio-inspired and biomimetic soft robots and devices. Notably, I collaborated on the creation of a bi-stable soft gripper inspired from Venus flytrap and developed a soft biomimetic jellyfish robot, optimizing its design for large deformations, thrust generation, and swimming speed. I have also successfully lead collaborations with additive manufacturing research groups at NUS to create metamaterial capacitive sensor arrays using multi-material FDM printer. We also developed a Direct Ink Writing printer capable of printing thin silicone patches for monitoring foetal heart rate, working in close collaboration with a Singapore based healthcare company. My work at SUTD has focused on the development of soft knitted wearables using CNC knitting machines. These machines enable the embedding of various functional yarns in different stitch patterns within the fabric, resulting in highly stretchable and sensitive knitted strain sensors, interconnects, and resistors. Notably, I led the development of a knitted knee brace integrated with a network of knitted components and a custom-designed circuit for data acquisition and wireless transmission of knee joint motion to a smartphone. Through pilot tests involving eight subjects performing daily activities, we developed datasets and achieved over 95% accuracy in activity classification using machine learning.

Within the DManD Centre, I served as a lead researcher, designing the direction of the product, setting up the lab, guiding the team through challenges, working across interdisciplinary domains, and acquiring new skills. I also actively engaged in discussions with research partners, collaborated with clinicians, architects, engineers, and researchers, contributed to successful grant proposals, filed patents, and sought industry partnerships.

News and Announcements!

  • We have recently published an article in Medical Engineering & Physics demonstrating an approach to how prosthetic limbs can be made more comfortable for amputees utilizing the concept of Lines of Non-Extension (LoNEs). Link to article.
  • Excited to share that our article on all knitted and integrated soft wearables has been accepted for publication by Advanced Healthcare Materials. It has also been selected to be featured as Frontispiece for the journal issue. Congratulations to all the authors!

    The article is available hereLink to Video.

    Our smart knee brace has also received highlights in several scientific media outlets including Science DailyAsia Research NewsEurekAlert!, Medical Express, MedGadget, Tech Briefs and more 

    Also, featured by several prominent national and international media including Forbes, CNA

  • Wondering how knitted textiles can be programmed to achieve intended 3D deformations such as origami shapes or tessellated patches? Please read our article here presenting a computational design-to-fabrication pipeline outlining this very approach, published in Smart Materials and Structures.

Soft knitted wearable
  • Congratulations to the knitted healthcare wearables team @ SUTD for receiving grant from a giant industry partner to develop wearables for shoulder joint load assessment.
  • Our work on soft transparent tunable lens has been published in Soft Robotics. [Link to paper]
  • Our works on CNC knitted wearables have been accepted for publication at the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) 2021 and the IEEE Conference on Sensors 2021.
  • Very excited to share that our work on metamaterial capacitive sensing array was featured on the back cover of Advanced Engineering Materials. Congratulations to all the authors!

    The paper is available here.

AEM cover page
  • We are very happy on featuring of our work on instabilities in soft dielectric elastomer actuators on the inside front cover of Soft Matter. Congratulations to all the authors!

    The paper can be found here.

instabilities in soft actuators
  • Our work on transparent soft robots inspired from leptocephalus has been published in Advanced Functional Materials.

    Transparent Soft Robots for Effective Camouflage [Link to paper]

    Featured on TechXplore.


transparent soft robot