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I am passionate about finding new ways to apply human-centered design in mechanical engineering, and I seek to improve quality of life in all my projects, helping those around me with engineering. At MIT, I am designing a robotic hand for use around the home, with potential application for prostheses.


Click on a project for more information.

Robotic Hand Design, MIT, 2020 - Present

For my master's research at MIT, I built an integrated design pipeline for sensorized robotic manipulators to streamline the robotic hand design process.

Exoskeletons, suitX (now Ottobock), 2019 - 2020

I designed exoskeletons, prototyping, user testing, and stress testing (both physical and using SolidWorks FEA) for various R&D projects at suitX, an exoskeleton startup founded by UC Berkeley's Professor Kazerooni and recently acquired by Ottobock.

Tetraplegic Gripper Device, UC Berkeley, 2018, 2019

I designed, modeled and built a mechanical gripper for a tetraplegic user through the UC Berkeley EnableTech Club. I led the device redesign in my Global Product Development Class to be more user friendly, mass-producible, and reliable.

Speed Bike, UC Berkeley, 2018 - 2019

I led the overall bike design and manufacturing in a team of twenty-five in the UC Berkeley Human Powered Vehicles Club and specialized in the frame design, performing FEA analysis to ensure its safety. The vehicle will compete in the IHPVA World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in September 2020.

Delta-Leaning Tricycle, UC Berkeley, 2017 - 2018

I performed aerodynamic design and analysis to build a recumbent delta-leaning tricycle in the UC Berkeley Human Powered Vehicles Club. The bike took 3rd place at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers E-Fest West Human Powered Vehicle Challenge.

Tensegrity Search-and-Rescue Robot, UC Berkeley, 2017

I designed frictionless end caps at the BEST Lab for a 6-bar spherical tensegrity robot intended for use as a search and rescue robot.


My CV contains more information, but here are some highlights…


  • NSF GFRP Honorable Mention, 2021
  • MIT Folger Fellow
  • Dean's Honors List Spring 2019, College of Engineering
    (semester GPA in the top 10 percent of all College of Engineering undergraduates)
  • Finalist, 2017 Collegiate Poster & Rapid Fire Competition, Society of Women Engineers
  • Committee Member of the Month (March 2017), Society of Women Engineers


An End-to-End Differentiable Framework for Contact-Aware Robot Design

Jie Xu, Tao Chen, Lara Zlokapa, Michael Foshey, Wojciech Matusik, Shinjiro Sueda, Pulkit Agrawal
Robotics: Science and Systems, 2021

An Integrated Design Pipeline for Tactile Sensing Robotic Manipulators

Lara Zlokapa, Yiyue Luo, Jie Xu, Michael Foshey, Kui Wu, Pulkit Agrawal, Wojciech Matusik
IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2022

An Integrated Design Pipeline for Tactile Sensing Robotic Manipulators

Lara Zlokapa, Wojciech Matusik, Pulkit Agrawal
M.S. Thesis, MIT, Cambridge, MA, 2022. In progress. 2022


I'm a second-year graduate student at MIT who cares about connecting with the community in as many ways as possible, including by hosting department-wide social events for MIT mechanical engineering grad students in my free time. Besides my industry experience and academic lab engineering projects, I've created countless laser-cut presents for my friends and family. I enjoy learning languages and speak some French, German, and Serbo-Croatian. When I'm not working on my latest design project, you can find me swing dancing, baking bread, hiking, biking, or swimming.