Flexible and soft medical robots offer capabilities beyond those of conventional rigid-link robots due to their ability to traverse confined spaces and conform to highly curved paths. They also offer potential for improved safety due to their inherent compliance. In this talk, I will present several new robot designs for various surgical applications. In particular, I will discuss our work on soft, growing robots that achieve locomotion by material extending from their tip. I will discuss limitations in miniaturizing such robots, along with methods for actively steering, sensing, and controlling them. Finally, I will discuss new sensing and human-in-the-loop control paradigms that are aimed at improving the performance of flexible surgical robots.
Tania Morimoto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and in the Department of Surgery at the University of California, San Diego. She received the B.S. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, all in mechanical engineering. Her research lab focuses on the design and control of flexible continuum robots for increased dexterity and accessibility in uncertain environments, particularly for minimally invasive surgical interventions. They are also working to address the challenges of designing human-in-the-loop interfaces for controlling these flexible and soft robots, including the integration of haptic feedback to improve surgical outcomes. She is a recipient of the Hellman Fellowship (2021), the Beckman Young Investigator Award (2022), and the NSF CAREER Award (2022).
Extreme globalization, war in the Western World, COVID-19 are presenting together an unprecedented challenge for humanity. Engineering intelligent systems and robotics can help to counter-balance the negative effects in a number of ways. Potential technology-driven solutions include the emergence of medical robots, Surgical Data Science, AI-based support for early anomaly detection and health diagnosis, rescue robotics, smart agrifood robotic solutions and beyond. Much of these areas are addressed by the various applied research projects of the University Research and Innovation center (EKIK) at Óbuda University. This presentation highlights through examples the role that robotics and automation can play in living up to global challenges. The talk will also cover the ethical implications of robotics research, in both the emergency and post-pandemic world, with a specific focus on the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Workshop Description: TBA
Human motor learning depends on a suite of brain mechanisms that are driven by different signals and operate on timescales ranging from minutes to years. Understanding these processes requires identifying how new movement patterns are normally acquired, retained, and generalized, as well as the effects of distinct brain lesions. The lecture will focus on normal and abnormal motor learning, and how we can use this information to improve rehabilitation for individuals with neurological damage.
Dr. Amy Bastian is a neuroscientist who has made important contributions to the neuroscience of sensorimotor control. She is the Chief Science Officer at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Director of the motion analysis laboratory that studies the neural control of human movement. Dr. Bastian is also a Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and PM&R at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Bastian is a recognized and highly accomplished neuroscientists whose interests include understanding cerebellar function/dysfunction, locomotor learning mechanisms, motor learning in development, and how to rehabilitate people with many types of neurological diseases.
Abstract: Planning, the ability to imagine different futures and select one assessed to have high value, is one of the most vaunted of animal capacities. As such it has been a central target of artificial intelligence work from the origins of that field, in addition to being a focus of neuroscience and cognitive science. These separate and sometimes synergistic traditions are combined in our new work exploring the origin and mechanics of planning in animals. We will show how mammals evade autonomous robot “predators” in complex large arenas. We have discovered that depending on the arrangement and density of barriers to vision, animals appear to carefully manage their uncertainty about the predator’s location in order to reach their goal. Their behavior appears unlikely to be driven by cached responses that were successful in the past, but rather based on planning during brief pauses over which they peek at the hidden robot adversary that is looking for them. After peeking, they re-route to avoid the predator.
Bio: Malcolm A. MacIver is a group leader of the Center for Robotics and Biosystems at Northwestern University, with a joint appointment between Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, and courtesy appointments in the Department of Neurobiology and the Department of Computer Science. His work focuses on extracting principles underlying animal behavior, focusing on interactions between biomechanics, sensory systems, and planning circuits. He then incorporates these principles into biorobotic systems or simulations of the animal in its environment for synergy between technological and scientific advances. For this work he received the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering from President Obama at the White House. MacIver has also developed interactive science-inspired art installations that have exhibited internationally, and consults for science fiction film and TV series makers.
|1:00 pm||Keynote Speaker: Keynote by Stephen Aylward, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kitware|
|2:00 pm||Elevator Pitch Practice: For students with Industry Professionals
|3:00 pm||Virtual Company Job Fair
Keynote Speaker: Stephen Aylward “Do something slightly different”
Abstract: This talk explores the increasing overlap that exists in academic and industry environments, the role of research and product development in those environments, and how you can shape your career to succeed in either. It also explores how adopting the concepts and tools of open science can lead to success in both.
Bio: Stephen Aylward’s industry career began as an MS graduate surrounded by PhDs in the AI research labs at McDonnell Douglas. He then received a PhD in computer science and became a tenured associate professor in the department of radiology at UNC. That was followed by him pivoting back to industry and founding Kitware’s office in North Carolina, where he has had many roles as the company grew. He successfully patented and licensed software while in academia and played lead roles in the development of numerous open-source projects including ITK and 3D Slicer while in industry. He now serves as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kitware, as an adjunct professor in computer science at UNC, and as chair of the advisory board for the development of MONAI, a leading open-source PyTorch library for medical AI. His NIH, DARPA, and DoD funded research currently focuses on point-of-care AI and developing quantitative ultrasound spectroscopy measures to aid in the care of trauma victims in ambulances, emergency departments, and intensive care units.
Student Seminar 1:
Student Seminar 2:
When a flapping bat propels through its fluidic environment, it creates periodic air jets in the form of wake structures downstream of its flight path. The animal’s remarkable dexterity to quickly manipulate these wakes with fine-grained, fast body adjustments is key to retaining the force-moment needed for an all-time controllable flight, even near stall conditions, sharp turns, and heel-above-head maneuvers. We refer to bats’ locomotion based on dexterously manipulating the fluidic environment through dynamically versatile wing conformations as dynamic morphing wing flight.
In this talk, I will describe some of the challenges facing the design and control of dynamic morphing Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAV) and report our latest morphing flying robot design called Aerobat. Dynamic morphing is the defining characteristic of bat locomotion and is key to their agility and efficiency. Unlike a jellyfish whose body conformations are fully dominated by its passive dynamics, a bat employs its active and passive dynamics to achieve dynamic morphing within its gaitcycles with a notable degree of control over joint movements. Copying bats’ morphing wings has remained an open engineering problem due to a classical robot design challenge: having many active coordinates in MAVs is impossible because of prohibitive design restrictions such as limited payload and power budget. I will propose a framework based on integrating low-power, feedback-driven components within computational structures (mechanical structures with computational resources) to address two challenges associated with gait generation and regulation. We call this framework Morphing via Integrated Mechanical Intelligence and Control (MIMIC). Based on this framework, my team at SiliconSynapse Laboratory at Northeastern University has copied bat dynamically versatile wing conformations in untethered flight tests.
Alireza Ramezani is an assistant professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Northeastern University (NU). Before joining NU in 2018, he was a post-doc at Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with Jessy Grizzle. His research interests are the design of bioinspired robots with nontrivial morphologies (high degrees of freedom and dynamic interactions with the environment), analysis, and nonlinear, closed-loop feedback design of locomotion systems. His designs have been featured in high-impact journals, including two cover articles in Science Robotics Magazine and research highlights in Nature. Alireza has received NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Program Award in designing bioinspired locomotion systems for the exploration of the Moon and Mars craters two times. He is the recipient of Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) Faculty Research Program Position. Alireza’s research has been covered by over 200 news outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, CNN, NBC, and Euronews. Currently, he is leading a $1 Million NSF project to design and control bat-inspired MAVs in the confined space of sewer networks for monitoring and inspection.
I will present a bio-inspired fish simulation platform, which we call “Foids”, to generate realistic synthetic datasets for an use in computer vision algorithm training. This is a first-of-its-kind synthetic dataset platform for fish, which generates all the 3D scenes just with a simulation. One of the major challenges in deep learning based computer vision is the preparation of the annotated dataset. It is already hard to collect a good quality video dataset with enough variations; moreover, it is a painful process to annotate a sufficiently large video dataset frame by frame. This is especially true when it comes to a fish dataset because it is difficult to set up a camera underwater and the number of fish (target objects) in the scene can range up to 30,000 in a fish cage on a fish farm. All of these fish need to be annotated with labels such as a bounding box or silhouette, which can take hours to complete manually, even for only a few minutes of video. We solve this challenge by introducing a realistic synthetic dataset generation platform that incorporates details of biology and ecology studied in the aquaculture field. Because it is a simulated scene, it is easy to generate the scene data with annotation labels from the 3D mesh geometry data and transformation matrix. To this end, we develop an automated fish counting system utilizing the part of synthetic dataset that shows comparable counting accuracy to human eyes, which reduces the time compared to the manual process, and reduces physical injuries sustained by the fish.
Bio: Masaki Nakada obtained a master degree in physics at Waseda University in Japan. Then, he finished PhD in computer science at UCLA and worked as a postdoc for another year, where he published a series of scientific papers. (https://www.masakinakada.com/) He devoted more than 10 years in the research of artificial life, specifically in the area of biomechanical human simulation with musculoskeletal models, neuromuscular controllers, and biomimetic vision. Previously, he worked for Intel as a software engineer. He received MIT Technology Review Innovator Award Under 35, Forbes Next 1000, Institute for Digital Research and Education Postdoctoral Scholar Award, Siggraph Thesis Fast Forward Honorable mention, TEEC Cup North American Entrepreneurship Competition in Silicon Valley, Japan Student Services Organization Fellowship, Rotary Ambassadorial Fellowship, Itoh Foundation Fellowship, Entrepreneurship Foundation Fellowship, Aoi Foundation Fellowship and winner of several Startup business competition & hackathons. He founded NeuralX, Inc (https://www.neuralx.ai/) in 2019 based on the IP he has developed over the decade of research. The company provides an interactive online fitness service Presence.fit (https://www.presence.fit/), where it combines the power of human instructor and motion analytics AI, which enables them to provide highly interactive online fitness experience.
This talk will describe the robotics and AI activities and projects within JHU/APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department. I will present motivating challenge problems faced by various defense, military and medical sponsors across a number of government agencies. Further, I will highlight several research projects we are currently executing in the areas of robot manipulation, navigation and human robot interaction. Specifically, the projects will highlight areas including underwater manipulation, learned policies for off-road and complex terrain navigation, human robot interaction, heterogenous robot teaming, and fixed wing aerial navigation. Finally, I will present areas of future research and exploration and possible intersections with LCSR.
Kapil Katyal is a principal researcher and robotics program manager in the Research and Exploratory Development Department at JHU/APL. He completed his PhD at JHU advised by Greg Hager on prediction and perception capabilities for robot navigation. He has worked at JHU/APL since 2007 on several projects spanning robot manipulation, brain machine interfaces, vision algorithms for retinal prosthetics and robot navigation in complex terrains. He holds 5 patents and has co-authored over 30 publications in areas of robotics and AI.