Andrew Gillies

About me

I am a co-founder of Dash Robotics, Inc., a startup that builds lightning-fast, innovative origami robots. We are focused on bringing fun, low-cost educational robots to as many people as possible. You can find out more about the company at

My interests reside at the intersection of mechanical engineering, materials science, robotics and biology. I am most interested in taking inspiration from biological systems to create controllable & novel underactuated mechanisms and low-cost robots. Creating these systems generally involves the design, fabrication and testing of nano to meso-scale structures.

Previously, I was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, working towards my PhD in mechanical engineering. I worked in the Biomimetic Millisystems lab under Ron Fearing, and my work focused on the development of controllable adhesives inspired by geckos. I worked closely with biologists, chemists and electrical engineers to try and gain a better understanding of these complex systems with the hope of developing materials that can controllably “stick” to a wide variety of rough surfaces. So in short, I’m a mechanical engineering student in an electrical engineering lab working with biologists on materials; so try not to get too dizzy.

Before moving to Berkeley in 2008, I lived in Toronto, Canada, where I was born and raised. I did my BASc at the University of Toronto in mechanical engineering, where I spent some time working on electro-active polymers in the Smart and Adaptive Polymers Lab under Hani Naguib. I then spent some time working in industry in a couple different areas before moving to California.