Ravi Balasubramanian

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

315 Graf Hall


Personal Research Site: http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~balasubr/


  • Ph.D., Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University, 2006
  • B Eng, Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 2000

Research Interests:

Dr. Balasubramanian's research interests lie at the intersection of robotics and computational neuroscience and biomechanics.  He pioneers the unique idea of “simultaneous bio-inspiration and robo-inspiration”.  Specifically, he simultaneously draws inspiration from the human control system to advance robotic systems and use robotic systems to develop a stronger understanding of the human body and improve quality of life.


Dr. Ravi Balasubramanian is an Assistant Professor of Robotics and Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University, where he directs the Robotics and Human Control Systems Laboratory.  He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Singapore with top honors and his PhD from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.  He did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in computational neuroscience and biomechanics.  He then was a research scientist in Yale University developing novel mechanisms for robotic hands.  He has also led a personal-robotics project at Intel Labs Seattle.  

Dr. Balasubramanian’s work has received the following awards: the National Science Foundation CAREER grant in 2016, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Neuromusculoskeletal Injuries Research Award in 2016, Best Manipulation Paper Finalist award from the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in 2016, the Outstanding Researcher Award from the NIH National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research in 2013, the Best Student Paper finalist award at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in 2004, the OSU Impact Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2017, the Blue Ribbon Poster Presentation award from the Orthopedic Research Society in 2017.  He also collaborates with local industry for advancing manufacturing operations using robotics technology.

He has been at Oregon State since 2011.

Selected Publications:

  • Taymaz Homayouni, Kelsey N. Underwood, Kamin C. Beyer, Elon R. Martin, Christopher H. Allan, and Ravi Balasubramanian. Biomechanical Models for Validating Implants that Modify the Transmission of Forces and Movements within the Body. In IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 62(9):2208–2214, 2015. DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2015.2419223.
  • Katherine L. Mardula, Christopher H. Allan, and Ravi Balasubramanian. Implanted Differential Mechanisms Improve Hand Function After Tendon-Transfer Surgery: A Cadaver-Based Study. In Hand Journal, 2014. DOI: 10.1007/s11552-014-9676-0.
  • Alex K. Goins, and Ryan Carpenter, Weng-Keen Wong, and Ravi Balasubramanian, Implementation of a Machine Learning-based Grasp Predictor. In Autonomous Robots, 1–13, 2015. DOI: 10.1007/s10514-015-9488-2.
  • Ryan Carpenter, Ross Hatton, and Ravi Balasubramanian. Evaluation of Linear and Revolute Underactuated Grippers for Steel Foundry Operations. Industrial Robot, 2015.
  • Sarani Chatterjee, Ravi Balasubramanian, Courtney Campbell. The Bioethics of Implantable Engineered Mechanisms in Orthopedic Surgery. In Ethics in Biology, Engineering, and Medicine: An International Journal, 5(2):95–105, 2015.
  • Ravi Balasubramanian, Ling Xu, Peter Brook, Joshua R. Smith, and Yoky Matsuoka. Physical Human Interactive Guidance: A Simple Method to Understand Human Grasping. In IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2012, pp. 899–910, DOI: 10.1109/TRO.2012.2189498.
  • Ashish D. Deshpande, Ravi Balasubramanian, Jonathan Ko, and Yoky Matsuoka. Acquiring Variable Moment Arms for Index Finger Using a Robotic Testbed. In IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 57(8), pp. 2034–2044, 2010, DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2010.2048326.
  • Ravi Balasubramanian, Alfred A. Rizzi, and Matthew T. Mason. Legless Locomotion: A Novel Locomotion Technique for Error Recovery. In The International Journal of Robotics Research, 27(5), pp. 575–594, 2008, DOI:10.1177/0278364908091023.
  • Rob Browning, Anthony Le, Jennifer Warnock, and Ravi Balasubramanian. Anatomical Aspects of Novel Surgery in the Chicken Foot. In Journal of Investigative Surgery, 2017. (Under review)