Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

GT Courtesy Listing


Modeling, Planning, and Control for Robot-Assisted Medical Interventions


Dr. Allison Okamura


Johns Hopkins University


Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 12:00:00 PM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Jun Ueda


Many medical interventions today are qualitatively and quantitatively limited by human physical and cognitive capabilities. Along with advances in imaging and visualization, a novel partnership between clinicians and robotic devices can overcome major technical challenges in fields such as surgery, interventional radiology, and rehabilitation. This talk will discuss several robot-assisted intervention techniques that will extend humans¹ ability to carry out interventions more accurately and less invasively. I will focus primarily on the development of minimally invasive systems that deliver therapy by steering needles through deformable tissue and around internal obstacles to precisely reach specified targets. This research builds on emerging methods in robotics, imaging, and mechanics in order to optimize needle design, perform needle motion planning, and enable image-guided intra-operative needle control. In addition, I will review recent results in haptic feedback for robot-assisted teleoperated surgery and robot-assisted compensation for cerebellar ataxia. All of these systems incorporate one or more key elements of robotic interventions: (1) quantitative descriptions of patient state, (2) the use of models to plan interventions, (3) the design of devices and control systems that connect information to physical action, and (4) the inclusion of human input in a natural way.


Allison M. Okamura received the BS degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994, and the MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University in 1996 and 2000, respectively, all in mechanical engineering. She is currently a Professor of mechanical engineering and the Decker Faculty Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. She is associate director of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics and a thrust leader of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology. She is an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics, an editor of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, and co-chair of the Haptics Symposium. Her awards include the 2009 IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics Early Career Award, the 2005 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award, the 2004 NSF CAREER Award, the 2004 JHU George E. Owen Teaching Award, and the 2003 JHU Diversity Recognition Award. Her research interests include haptics, teleoperation, medical robotics, virtual environments and simulators, prosthetics, neuromechanics, rehabilitation engineering, and engineering education.