Engineering | The Polytechnic School

Thomas Sugar

Engineering Program

7171 E Sonoran Arroyo Mall Peralta Hall, Room 335 (Map)
Mail Code: 2080


Thomas Sugar works in the areas of mobile robot navigation and wearable robotics for rehabilitation of stroke survivors. He majored in business andmechanical engineering for his Bachelors degrees and mechanical engineering forhis Doctoral degree all from the University of Pennsylvania. In industry, heworked as a project engineer for W. L. Gore and Associates. He has been afaculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Engineering at Arizona State University. His research focuses oncompliant wearable robots using tunable springs and pneumatic muscleactuators.


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1999
M.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1992
B.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1991
B.S.E., Entrepreneurial Management, The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, 1991


Mechanical Design, Controls, Robotics

Research Interests

Dr. Sugar leads a research effort in wearable robotic systems. He is developing robotic orthoses and prostheses for stroke rehabilitation and mobility. He collaborates with Prof. McBeath in psychology to understand perceptual principles that guide human navigation and locomotion. His current research projects include SPARKy, Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics, and PAFO, a powered ankle foot orthosis for stroke rehabilitation.


Arizona State University Researcher of the Year, 2007