We acknowledge that maintaining an inclusive environment requires ongoing and active effort, and we are dedicated to continually learning and improving our support for diversity and inclusion. We value the experiences and perspectives of all members of our community and believe that a diverse and inclusive culture is crucial for fostering excellence in research and achieving our goals

PhD students:

We are looking for highly motivated students to join our lab.

How to apply:

To apply, interested candidates should submit an application to Arizona State University via, specifying their interest in working with Dr. Sun. Additionally, they should send an email titled “Prospective Ph.D. Student” or “Prospective Master Student” to, attaching their CV and a cover letter before submitting their application.

We usually have several rounds of interviews. Please refer to the post: student admission process

Undergraduate students:

We welcome undergraduate students who are interested in gaining research experience in the areas of robot design, microcontrollers, mechanics, and control. Due to the significant amount of training required, we prefer students who are interested in longer-term (one year or more) research projects. ASU undergraduate students are encouraged to email your interest and experience directly to Dr. Sun.

We do not generally fund undergrad research, but I would support you to apply for many grants and fellowships e.g., SURI, Nasa Space Grant, and GCSP.

Barrett Honors Thesis

Dr. Sun has availability to serve on Barrett Thesis committees, provided the student is willing to commit to submitting their work to a conference or journal at the end of their project.

For more information, see

1. Design of Novel Dielectric Fluid Artificial Muscle
In this project, you will develop a novel artificial muscle, characterize its performance, and simulate it with physics-based simulators. Preferred skills: knowledge and hands-on experience in materials, mechanical design, and fabrication.

2. Real-time Control of Continuum Soft Robots with Learning to Solve Physics-based Models (With Prof. Max Ren). Fullfilled
In this project, you will develop machine learning methods to solve physics-based models for controlling a continuum soft robotic arm in real time. The preferred skills are machine learning, modern control, and strong coding capability.

3. Fast Simulation of Soft Robots with Physics-based simulators.
In this project, you will simulate soft robots with physics-based simulators. Students who are from computer science and know numerical solvers and computer graphics (Animation and Simulation) are highly preferred.

4. Wearable Robots Driven by Artificial Muscles for Human Assistance and Rehabilitation (with Prof. Hyunglae Lee).
In this project will design a novel artificial muscle and build a wearable robotic device for back support. The preferred skills include hands-on experience in mechatronics (circuits), mechanical design, and fabrication.

Master students:

Masters Thesis

I am seeking multiple highly motivated Master students or undergrads to conduct theses in artificial muscle and soft robotics, starting in Summer 2024.

To apply, interested candidates should send an email titled “Prospective Master Student for Thesis” to, attaching their CV, transcript, and a cover letter.

Masters Project

Due to time limitations, Dr. Sun is not able to advise Masters Projects at this time. Please consider a Masters Thesis, as the opportunities for producing high-quality, publishable work is enhanced via the thesis route.

Funding for master students

We do not generally fund masters research.

Students who are doing thesis with me will have my full suppor to get funding from the follwing programs and hourly-paied grader positions.

MORE The MORE Initiative is a unique opportunity to get involved in research during your masters experience. In general, planning for your application involves identifying a research topic of interest, speaking with Dr. Sun to ensure it fits within the scope of the IDEAlab, and coming up with the deliverables required by the FURI program. Please see Dr. Sun at the beginning of the semester in order to plan your MORE application. Deadline is middle of March and Oct each year.

SURI Eligible U.S. citizens, permanent residents, ASU-sponsored F-1/J-1 visa students and international applicants receive a $5,000 stipend, housing and some living expenses during the summer each year. Deadline is Feb. 1st.

Q & A

What is the advising style? At Sun Robotics Lab, we are dedicated to nurturing creativity, promoting collaboration, and achieving academic excellence among our students. We strongly encourage collaboration among group members and with external teams. Each group member will have regular discussions with the PI regarding their research ideas and progress. We will assign an independent project/task to each incoming student. As students gain expertise in the field, we expect them to identify new and exciting research directions and lead their own projects. We will have a weekly group meeting to discuss research ideas and literature studies, and we will also set up a weekly or biweekly meeting with each group member to discuss their progress and provide individual support.

I am a K-12 student/teacher and would like information for a school report, tour, help with my robotics team, a research internship, etc. My students and I are very excited about using robotics as a teaching tool to encourage interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) topics. We actively involved in outreach and are have an outreach webpage to answer your questions.

Visiting scholars/summer research interns are welcome to email Dr. Sun directly for available opportunities.