LCSR Welcome (Back) Ice Cream Social @ Taharka Brothers Ice Cream truck
Sep 8 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
GSA Monday Bagels @ Hackerman 136/137
Sep 11 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am


Dearest LCSR Community!




Please join us this coming Monday 09/11 at 10.30 am at the students’ office space in Hackerman 136/137 for some fresh morning bagels!! We will provide various cream cheese spreads, and there will be a coffee machine, water boiler and K-cups for you to enjoy as well (bring your own mugs though).


Looking forward to seeing you all there!



Lydia & Benjamin


The LCSR Graduate Student Association (LCSR-GSA)

Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics

Johns Hopkins University

Sep 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Mark S. Savage is Associate Director, Life Design Lab & Life Design Educator for Engineering master’s Students at Johns Hopkins University.

Click here for a link to Mark’s presentation.

LCSR Seminar: Heather Culbertson “Using Data for Increased Realism with Haptic Modeling and Devices” @ Hackerman B17
Sep 20 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Abstract: The haptic (touch) sensations felt when interacting with the physical world create a rich and varied impression of objects and their environment. Humans can discover a significant amount of information through touch with their environment, allowing them to assess object properties and qualities, dexterously handle objects, and communicate social cues and emotions. Humans are spending significantly more time in the digital world, however, and are increasingly interacting with people and objects through a digital medium. Unfortunately, digital interactions remain unsatisfying and limited, representing the human as having only two sensory inputs: visual and auditory.


This talk will focus on methods for building haptic and multimodal models that can be used to create realistic virtual interactions in mobile applications and in VR. I will discuss data-driven modeling methods that involve recording force, vibration, and sounds data from direct interactions with the physical objects. I will compare this to new methods using machine learning to generate and tune haptic models using human preferences.

Bio: Heather Culbertson is a Gabilan Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the design and control of haptic devices and rendering systems, human-robot interaction, and virtual reality. Particularly she is interested in creating haptic interactions that are natural and realistically mimic the touch sensations experienced during interactions with the physical world. Previously, she was a research scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She received her PhD in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently serving as Publications Chair for IEEE Haptics Symposium. Her awards include the NSF CAREER Award, IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics Early Career Award, and the Okawa Research Foundation Award.


Click here to watch a video recording of this presentation.

LCSR Seminar: IROS paper presentations @ Hackerman B17
Sep 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

IROS practice talks by the students followed by 5-minute Q&A session after each paper.

  • Hisashi Ishida
  • Juan Barragan
  • Michael Kam
  • Jiawei Liu
  • Jim Wang.
LCSR Seminar: Aleksandra Popovic “My Journey in Medical Devices and Robotics” @ Hackerman B17
Oct 4 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


The success in medical device development depends on alignment between needs of patients, providers, and hospitals.  In this talk I will cover 20 years of my journey in defining clinical needs, business objectives, and developing products in the space medical devices and robotics. I will discuss products across image guidance, navigation, ultrasound, and robotics technologies, starting with products in electrophysiology mapping and lung interventions, covering breakthroughs in quantitative imaging for ultrasound and AI-based ultrasound exams. We will talk about projects that worked and those that failed addressing key issues in the development cycle. In the final section, I will cover surgical and interventional robotic developments and Johnson & Johnson.



As VP of Robotic Strategy at Johnson and Johnson MedTech, Aleksandra is leading Johnson & Johnson efforts in defining the future of surgical robotics. Johnson & Johnson MedTech is present in almost every operating room in the world with more than 75 million procedures each year. Aleksandra has over 20 years of experience in medical device and robotics. Starting her career in Germany, at RWTH Aachen University, Helmholtz Institute and University Hospital, Aleksandra obtained PhD (Dr. Ing.) with specialization in surgical robotics. After graduate school, Aleksandra spend 15 years at Philips in New York and Boston, starting as a scientist developing products across different clinical areas (e.g., electrophysiology, vascular interventional, lung interventions, cardiology) with technical focus on image guidance, navigation, and robotics. In the later years, she became innovation lead for Ultrasound and subsequently Image Guided Therapy at Philips. Today, she heads strategy for leading surgical robotics company Johnson & Johnson. Aleksandra grew up in former Yugoslavia (Montenegro and Serbia). She obtained her master’s degree (Dipl.-Ing.) in Electrical Engineering from Belgrade University in Serbia and PhD in Engineering from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. Strong believer in formal education, Aleksandra also has executive degree from MIT Sloan School of Management and certificate in Industrial Design from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

LCSR Seminar: Hunter Gilbert “Continuum Robots: Addressing Challenges through Modeling, Design, and Control” @ Hackerman B17
Oct 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Continuum robots change their shape with elastic deformations rather than mechanical joints and are often elastically deform under typical forces for their applications. They have advantages in some environments where geometry may be complex and not well-known in advance of operations, which is a common feature of many applications outside of factory settings. Continuum robots leverage contact and deformation to complete tasks, relying on passive mechanical behaviors in addition to software-based intelligence and traditional control systems. For example, robots with slender, snake-like, elastic bodies can navigate the tortuous human anatomy like the colon or the esophagus to perform surgery, or they can navigate through challenging industrial environments like pipelines and machinery to perform “minimally invasive” inspection and maintenance.  However, slender bodies and mechanical softness come with distinct engineering challenges. Many slender-bodied soft robots have adopted remote actuation approaches that suffer from exponentially worsening friction as they bend. Additionally, many approaches to actuation result in an undesirable coupling between actuators. In this seminar, I will describe our recent research that has focused on improving the understanding of continuum mechanism manipulator designs, models, and applications. Ongoing studies are aimed at (i) improving the design of electromechanically driven continuum robots; (ii) investigating methods to mitigate friction in long, slender devices; and (iii) improving modeling approaches for continuum robots.



Hunter B. Gilbert received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering in 2010 from Rice University (Houston, Texas), and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering in 2016 from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee). He conducted a postdoctoral fellowship in the Physical Intelligence Department of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Stuttgart, Germany), supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung postdoctoral fellowship from 2016-2019. He is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana State University, where he is co-director of the Innovation in Control and Robotics Engineering (iCORE) research laboratory. He is an Associate Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and for Frontiers in Robotics and AI. His research interests are centered on several themes within applied mechanics and dynamic systems: mechanically “soft” or deformable robots, systems and technologies focused on human health and safety, and modeling of complex dynamic systems.

LCSR Seminar: Eric Diller “Micro-Scale Surgery: Using Magnetic Fields to Control Tiny Robots in the Gut and Brain” @ Hackerman B17
Nov 1 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Eric Diller, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Robotics Institute, Institute of Biomedical Engineering (cross-appointed); University of Toronto


Abstract: Micro-scale mobile robots can physically access small spaces in a versatile and non-invasive manner. Such microrobots under several mm in size have potential unique applications for surgery, sensing and drug delivery in healthcare, microfactories and as scientific tools. These devices are powered and controlled remotely using externally-applied magnetic fields for motion in 3D. This talk will introduce how we design and produce these tiny machines, as well as how we create magnetic fields that can move them as functional robots inside the body. Moving microrobots for swimming, crawling and grasping powered by these magnetic fields will be shown, along with our progress towards medical applications for diagnosis in the gut, and in neurosurgery.

Eric Diller received the B.S. and M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2010 and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Robotics Institute at the University of Toronto, where he is director of the Microrobotics Laboratory. His research interests include micro-scale robotics, and features fabrication and control relating to remote actuation of micro-scale devices using magnetic fields, micro-scale robotic manipulation, and smart materials. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics, and received the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society 2020 Early Career Award. He has also received the 2018 Ontario Early Researcher Award, the University of Toronto Innovation Award, and the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering’s 2018 I.W. Smith Award for research contributions in medical microrobotics. He envisions an accessible future of medicine free of invasive colonoscopies, open surgery and long recoveries.
Lab website:

LCSR Seminar: Lionel Robert “Human Trust in Robots: Teammate or Tool? Does it Matter?” @ Hackerman B17
Nov 8 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


As robotics increasingly integrates into our social and professional spheres, the question of how humans perceive and trust robots has gained prominence. Are robots regarded as utilitarian tools, designed to fulfill tasks efficiently, or are they embraced as teammates, eliciting human-like trust? Some argue that humans interact with robots in a way that resembles social interactions with other humans, a viewpoint aligned with the ‘computers are social actors’ (CASA) concept. Conversely, proponents of the robot as a tool view contend that humans perceive robots as non-human tools, promoting the use of human-to-automation theories and trust measures. In this presentation, we delve into these arguments and propose an empirical study aimed at shedding light on this debate.


He holds the position of Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan and boasts a number of distinguished memberships, including AIS Distinguished Member Cum Laude and IEEE Senior Member. Dr. Robert obtained his Ph.D. in Information Systems from Indiana University, where he was a BAT Fellow and KPMG Scholar. Currently, he is the director of the Michigan Autonomous Vehicle Research Intergroup Collaboration (MAVRIC) and affiliated with various institutions, including the University of Michigan Robotics Institute, the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, and the Center for Computer-Mediated Communication at Indiana University. Additionally, he is a member of the AAAS Community Advisory Board. Dr. Robert’s research interests revolve around human collaboration with technology, which is reflected in his published works in leading information systems and information science journals as well as notable computer and robotics conferences. His research has garnered numerous accolades, including best paper awards/nominations from the Journal of the Association of Information Systems, the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, SAE International, and the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human–Robot Interaction. Dr. Robert has received research funding from various sources, such as the AAA Foundation, Automotive Research Center/U.S. Army, Army Research Laboratory, Toyota Research Institute, MCity, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the National Science Foundation. He has also been featured in print, radio, and television for major media outlets like ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Michigan Radio, Inc., New York Times, and the Associated Press.



LCSR Seminar: Alan Kuntz “Deformable tissue and deformable robots: novel algorithmic and mechanical solutions to leverage robots in surgical and interventional medicine” @ Hackerman B17
Nov 15 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Improving the capabilities of robots in medicine requires innovation in both robot design and computational methods. In this talk, I will discuss recent research from my lab on both topics. I will present new continuum robot designs at both meso- and micro-scales intended for procedures in delicate tissues such as the brain and lungs. I will also present data-driven and model-driven algorithmic methods we have developed to model, control, and plan motions for continuum, deformable robots and deformable tissue in the human body.



Alan Kuntz is an assistant professor in the Robotics Center and the Kahlert School of Computing at the University of Utah. He leads a highly interdisciplinary research lab consisting of computer scientists, mechanical engineers, electrical and computer engineers, and applied mathematicians. His research focuses on the design of automation and machine learning methods for robots and on the mechanical design and control of novel robotic systems with healthcare applications.


Prior to joining the University of Utah, he was a postdoctoral research scholar at Vanderbilt University in the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of New Mexico and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.