Alison M. Okamura
Johns Hopkins University
Many medical interventions today are limited by human physical and cognitive capabilities. This talk will discuss several techniques that combine human and robot control to carry out interventions more accurately and less invasively.
First, I will discuss 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 approach invokes robot control, modeling, and imaging in order to optimize needle design, perform needle motion planning, and enable image-guided intra-operative needle control.
Second, I will review the design and evaluation of methods for haptic feedback in robot-assisted teleoperated surgery. Unconventional uses of feedback can improve the sensitivity of force information provided to the user and increase responsiveness, but must be considered in light of attendant costs such as poor sensitivity to hardware dynamics and potential for instability.
Finally, I will describe recent work characterizing the use of internal dynamic models in human motor control, which may drive novel rehabilitation strategies. All of these systems incorporate one or more key elements of robotic medical interventions: (1) quantitative descriptions of patient state, (2) the use of models for planning, (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 Professor and Vice Chair of mechanical engineering 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 has been an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics, an editor of the IEEE 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. She is a 2011 IEEE Fellow. Her interests include haptics, teleoperation, medical robotics, virtual environments and simulators, prosthetics, neuromechanics, rehabilitation engineering, and engineering education.