LCSR Seminar: Ugur Tumerdem “Recovering the Sense of Touch for Robotic Surgery and Surgical Training”

January 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Recovering the Sense of Touch for Robotic Surgery and Surgical Training


By Ugur Tumerdem

Assistant. Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Marmara University

Visiting Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University

Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar 2022/23




While robotic surgery systems have revolutionized the field of minimally invasive surgery in the past 25 years, their biggest disadvantage since their inception is the lack of haptic feedback to the surgeon. While controlling robotic instrument with teleoperation surgeons operate without their sense of touch and rely on only visual feedback which can result in unwanted complications.


In this seminar, I am going to talk about our recent and ongoing work to recover the lost sense of touch in robotic surgery, through new motion control laws, haptic teleoperation and machine learning algorithms as well as novel mechanism design. Major hurdles to providing reliable haptic feedback in robotic surgery systems are the difficulty in obtaining reliable force measurements/estimations from robotic laparoscopic instruments and the lack of transparent teleoperation architectures which can guarantee stability under environment uncertainty or  communication delays. I will be talking about our approaches to solving these issues and on our ongoing project to achieve haptic feedback on the da Vinci Research Kit. As an extension of the technology we are developing, I will also be discussing how the proposed haptic control approaches can be used to connect multiple surgeons through haptic interfaces to enable a new haptic training approach in surgical robotics.



Ugur Tumerdem is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Marmara University,Istanbul, Turkey and a Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University as the recipient of a Fulbright Visiting Research Fellowship in the academic year 2022/2023. Prof. Tumerdem received his B.Sc. in Mechatronics Engineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2005, his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Integrated Design Engineering from Keio University, Tokyo, Japan in 2007 and 2010 respectively. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at IBM Research – Tokyo in 2011 before joining Marmara University.




Laboratory for Computational Sensing + Robotics