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Engineering and Technology Colloquia Series

Haptics in Medical Robotics: Surgery, Simulation, and Rehabilitation

Presented by: Allison Okamura (Johns Hopkins University)
Category: Engineering Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: December 01, 2009
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Haptics is the science and technology of experiencing and creating touch sensations in human operators. This talk will examine the role of haptics in three types of medical systems: surgical robotics, surgical simulators, and rehabilitation robotics. Robot-assisted surgery can improve the outcomes of medical procedures by enhancing accuracy and minimally invasive access, thereby reducing patient trauma and recovery time. However, the current lack of force and tactile information is hypothesized to compromise system performance. With approaches ranging from psychophysical studies to control systems engineering, we are designing teleoperated robots capable of providing haptic feedback in challenging surgical environments. Haptic information is also needed for accurate surgical simulation. Surgical simulators present a safe and potentially effective method for surgical training, and can also be used in robot-assisted surgery for pre- and intra-operative planning. I will describe experiments to determine the mechanics of interaction between surgical instruments and tissues, as well as techniques for accurate patient-specific modeling. Finally, rehabilitation through robotically enabled orthotics and prosthetics inherently requires understanding and appropriate generation of haptic interactions. Our recent work in this area includes motor control augmentation with an exoskeleton robot, and studies of the role of haptic proprioception in prosthetic limb use.

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Allison Okamura's presentation PDF document (.pdf)