Academic Leader in Robotics,

Reader (Associate Professor) in Robotics and Design Intelligence,

RCA Robotics Laboratory, Royal College of Art


As of May 2017, I joined the Royal College of Art as the College's first faculty appointment in Robotics. 


I am currently principal investigator on a number of funded research projects including the EPSRC UKRI Innovation Fellowship on "Getting a Grip"; advanced anchoring modules for robot mobility & manipulation in unstructured environments, and "Pulse"; soft wearable devices for health communications under MedTech SuperConnector.


Prior to my appointment at RCA, I was the coordinator of research activities within the EPSRC funded project Aerial ABM (Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing) and led the Soft Aerial Robotics theme within the Aerial Robotics Lab of Imperial College London. I was a post-doctoral researcher at King’s College London (2013-2015) and a member of the FP7 project STIFF-FLOP (STIFFness controllable Flexible & Learnable Manipulator for surgical Operations).


I hold a PhD in Robotics from the University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory (2008-2012) and was a WUN visiting research scholar at the Centre for Intelligent Materials and Systems, University of Washington in Seattle during my studies (2010-2011). I received my B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Iran and M.Sc. degree in Control Systems from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 2005 and 2007, respectively.


Robotics at Royal College of Art (RCA Robotics)


Robotics is emerging as a core research theme connecting various design disciplines. Dr Sareh was awarded Research Investment Fund equipment funding by the RCA (Jun -17), which has enabled the setting-up of a new dedicated laboratory for Design Robotics. The lab investigates the application of novel soft materials, flexible electronics, advanced communication and manufacturing technologies in construction of robots to enhance their abilities for operation in varied environments while making them interact with humans more effectively against a range of criteria, not limited to technical performance. 


Following Royal College of Art's Strategic Plan 2016-2021, the lab is intended to create significant research & education capacity in robotics by 2020, to support RCA's ambitious expansion plans in Battersea South including a new robotics facility and new research centres– the most radical transformation of the institution’s campus in its 181-year history.



Main Research Interests


Soft Robotics, Sensor Innovation, and Interfacing with applications in:

  • Robot mobility & manipulation-  with a focus on attachment-assisted mobility mechanisms and stiffness-controllable end-effectors.
  • Manufacturing- highly interactable robotic systems for future factories, novel methods for 3D printing of soft materials and components.
  • Wearable and medical technologies- shape and tactile sensors, haptic interfaces, and rehabilitation and medical devices.

Areas of Expertise

  • Smart materials sensing and actuation technologies
  • Variable stiffness mechanisms and materials, e.g. jamming and phase changing materials
  • Mechanisms for robotic attachment
  • Light-weight pneumatics design, fibre-optic sensing and pseudo-haptics

Publications, Activities and Services


Since 2007, my research work has resulted in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in top venues such as The Royal Society and within prominent conferences of the field including ICRA and IROS. I was an organizing member of several international conferences such as CLAWAR 2008 and local public engagement events including Imperial Festival 2016, Robot Safari 2013 at the Science Museum and Discover 2012 in Bristol.  I have also been an invited keynote speaker at several premium international venues such as McKinsey & Company Advanced EMEA Industries Conference 2016, Rome, Italy.