Rapidly Deployable Mobile Sensing Robots for Disaster Rescue, Remote Monitoring and Space Exploration

Squishy robots are rapidly deployable mobile sensing robots for disaster rescue, remote monitoring and space exploration. Our emergent technologies are at the fusion of robotics, mobile sensing, machine learning, big data fusion and smart IoT (Internet of Things).

Our first target market is the HazMat and CBRNE (Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive) response market, enabling life-saving maneuvers and securing the safety of first responders by providing situational awareness and sensor data in uncharted terrain. This product can be deployed with multiple – even swarms – of collaborative squishy robots, equipped with visual, audio, chemical, biological, radiological and GPS sensors, that can traverse rough environments and be quickly deployed by ground or aerial vehicle to inform first responders, and assist in the rescue of victims until human first responders can arrive.

Our customizable platform is being designed for dynamically changing situations and we expect future applications to include scientific monitoring, delivery services, smart home appliances, as well as educational applications for K-12 students, teachers, parents, roboticists and hobbyists.


Squishy Robotics designs compliant “shape shifting” robots made from tensegrity structures. Squishy robots are game changing concepts that challenge assumptions around what robots are and what they can do. They are light-weight, low cost, and robust soft robots that can survive large impacts while carrying a payload and traveling over rough terrain. With Early Stage Innovation funding from NASA, Dr. Alice Agogino’s BEST (Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities) Lab Lab at UC Berkeley has developed a “shape-shifting” tensegrity robotic planetary lander/rover, which has achieved unique records in the ability to travel on rough terrain and slopes in simulation on the Moon and in physical testing on Earth. The goal of Squishy Robotics is to develop and de-risk this technology for critical terrestrial applications on Earth and commercial space exploration.

Our technology is both a new robotic and a mobile sensing platform that:

  • Brings advantages of tensegrity structure for impact resistance
  • Be customized for different sensor packages for a wide range of applications
  • Changes shape as needed
  • Functions in rough and uneven terrain
  • Can pack down to small size
  • Can fuse data for diagnostics, monitoring and supervisory control
  • Applicable to multiple business opportunities

Our “shape-shifting” squishy robotic concept has captured the imagination of researchers and the public alike. Our novel space lander and rover has been featured on the Discovery Channel and PBS. Our initial video went viral with close to 400,000 views to date. Our outreach activities have received enthusiastic responses from all age groups and genders.

We have filed 3 patents with licensing arrangements through UC Berkeley. We have developed and tested 6 alpha prototypes. We have performed drop testing from an aerial vehicle.



Feel free to send an email to info@squishy-robotics.com


Squishy Robotics is a new start-up at the SkyDeck, a partnership between the Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Berkeley. The SkyDeck office is on the penthouse floor of the tallest building in Downtown Berkeley. We have spectacular views of the UC Berkeley campus as well as the San Francisco Bay.


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