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John “Peter” Whitney

519 ISEC
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Joins the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering department in January 2016.


  • PhD Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 2012
  • SM Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, 2006

Research & Scholarship Interests

Human-safe robots, medical robotics, soft robotics and soft material manufacturing, MEMS, microrobotics, bio-inspired design, flapping aerodynamics and insect flight
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • N.O. Perez-Arancibia, J.P. Whitney, R.J. Wood, "Lift Force Control of Flapping-wing Microrobots Using Adaptive Feedforward Cancellation Schemes", IEEE Transactions of Mechatronics, 18, 2013, 1-14 
  • P.S. Sreetharan, H. Tanaka, J.P. Whitney, et al., "Progress on “Pico” Air Vehicles", International Journal of Robotics Research, 31(11), 2012, 1292-1302 
  • J.P. Whitney, R.J. Wood, "Conceptual Design of Flapping-wing Micro Air Vehicles", Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, 7, 2012, 1-10 
  • P.S. Sreetharan, J.P. Whitney, M.D. Strauss, R.J. Wood, "Monolithic Fabrication of Millimeter-scale Machines", Journal of Micromechics and Microengineering, 22(5), 2012, 055027 *cover article 
  • H. Tanaka, J.P. Whitney, R.J. Wood, "Effect of Flexural and Torsional Wing Flexibility on Lift Generation in Hoverfly Flight", Integrative and Comparative Biology51(1), 2011, 142-150 
  • J.P. Whitney, P.S. Sreetharan, K. Ma, R.J. Wood, "Pop-up Book MEMS", Journal of Micromechics and Microengineering, 21(11), 2011, 1-7 *cover article 
  • J.P. Whitney, R.J. Wood, "Aeromechanics of Passive Rotation in Flapping Flight", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 660, 2010, 197-220
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »

Related News

September 15, 2016

MIE Assistant Professor John Whitney led the Disney Research team that created Jimmy, a robot that moves with lifelike speed and grace.

May 16, 2016

MIE Assistant Professor John Whitney worked with Disney Corporation to create a robot with lifelike movements that could perform such tasks as threading a needle or closely interact with humans.

January 6, 2016

John "Peter" Whitney joins the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering department in January 2016 as an Assistant Professor.