Graduate Student

University of California, Berkeley
Department of Integrative Biology
3060 Valley of Life Sciences Building #5130
Berkeley, California 94720-3140

Lab phone: 510-643-5183
Personal : 510-499-5164
Fax: 510-643-6264
Email: kaushikj [at]

My research broadly focuses understanding the principles of high-speed locomotion in small animals, and particularly, the influence of mechanical designs in simplifying control. Specifically, my work attempts to uncover the neuromechanical strategies that enable robust performance under various natural conditions or perturbations.

Research in the Full lab over the last decade has shown that body structures play a major role in the control of locomotion under high speed conditions via ‘preflexes’ or instantaneous mechanical feedback. My research address the issues of robustness related to strategies relying on such mechanics during naturally occurring perturbations to animal bodies such as collisions, deformations and partial or complete amputations. Arthropods in general and cockroaches in particular are the model organisms of choice because their diversity in form and size, excellent locomotion capabilities with multiple appendages, relative ease of manipulation and vast knowledge about their mechanics and control systems.

One of my current projects involves understanding how cockroaches, Periplaneta americana, can wedge into and locomote extremely small gaps (less than 1/2 their running height). Another ongoing project is understand the mechanism of template transitions in cockoraches from walking to climbing (with Dwight Springthorpe and Prof. Dan Goldman at Georgia Tech)My previous projects include the study of cockroach tarsi during running and climbing in Blaberus discoidalis, strategies for rapid transitions from horizontal to vertical surfaces in Periplaneta americana, mechanical modeling of the cockroach antenna (with Jean-Michel Mongeau).

I work closely with collegues in the Fearing Lab, UC Berkeley (primarily Paul Birkmeyer, Jaakko Karras) to both, translate my findings in biology into increased robot capabilites and in turn, use their robots as platforms for hypotheses generation.


Journal Publications:
Jayaram, K., Joshi, S.S. Development of a flexure-based, force sensing microgripper for micro-object manipulation, Journal of MicroMechanics and MicroEngineering, IOP, 2009.

Conference Publications:
1. Jayaram, K., Springthorpe, D., Haldane, D., McKinley, S., DiRocoo, A., Full, R.J. Navigation in confined spaces in cockroach Periplaneta americana, SICB Annual Meeting 2013, San Francisco, January 3-7, 2013.
2. Dallman, C., Mongeau, J.-M., Jayaram, K., Full, R.J. Dynamic Response of Antenna Flagellum in the Cockroach Periplaneta americana, SICB Annual Meeting 2013, San Francisco, January 3-7, 2013.
3. Jayaram. K., Joshi, S.S. Development of a low-cost, vision based micro assembly system, Interna- tional Conference on Microactuators and Micromechanisms 2012, Durgapur, January 19-21, 2012.
4. Jayaram, K., Merritt, C., Full, R.J. Robust climbing in cockroaches result from Fault Tolerant Design using Leg Spines, SICB Annual Meeting 2012, Charleston, January 3-7, 2012.
5. Jayaram, K., Merritt, C., Cherian, A., Full, R.J. Running without feet – the role of tarsi during high-speed, horizontal locomotion in cockroaches, SICB Annual Meeting 2011, Salt Lake City, January 3-7, 2011.
6. Full, R.J., Jayaram, K., Mongeau, J.-M., Birkmeyer, P., Hoover, A., Fearing, R. The Role of Ro- bustness in Running: Bio- and Bio-inspired Exoskeletons, SICB Annual Meeting 2011, Salt Lake City, January 3-7, 2011.
7. Mongeau, J.-M., Jayaram, K., Demir, A., Sampson, E.G., Cowan, N.J., Full, R.J. Biomechanics of Tactile Sensor for Wall Following and Spatial Mapping, SICB Annual Meeting 2011, Salt Lake City, January 3-7, 2011.
8. Demir, A., Sampson, E.G., Mongeau, J.-M., Jayaram, K., Cowan, N.J., Full, R.J. A Tunable, Mul- tisegmented, Robotic Antenna for Identifying and Testing Biomechanical Design Principles, SICB Annual Meeting 2011, Salt Lake City, January 3-7, 2011.
9. Jayaram, K., Mongeau, J.-M., McRae, B., Full, R.J. High-Speed Horizontal to Vertical Transitions in Running Cockroaches Reveals a Principle of Robustness, SICB Annual Meeting 2010, Seattle, January 3-7, 2010.
10. Mongeau, J.-M., Jayaram, K., Lee, J., Full, R.J., Cowan, N.J. Positive Feedback in Antenna- Substrate Interaction Conditions Cockroach Antennal Navigation, SICB Annual Meeting 2010, Seattle, January 3-7, 2010.

Science News: Racing Crash-Happy Cockroaches, Science Meeting Briefs, Elizabeth Pennisi, 12 February 2010, Vol 327 Science. p 776.