Lab News 2011-12

August 24, 2012

Denis Lin and Margaret Koehler presented the great work they've done this summer to professors, graduate students, and fellow undergraduates at the ME Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI) poster session. They've been a great asset to the lab this summer and we wish them well in the new school year.

August 22, 2012

Visiting CHARMer Dana Damian successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis at the University of Zurich. The thesis received "summa cum laude". Dana will soon start a postdoctoral position at Harvard Children's Hospital. Congratulations, Dana!

August 15, 2012

We currently have postdoc positions available.

July 31, 2012

Fast Company profiled our needle steering project (in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and UC Berkeley) in this article.

July 30, 2012

Congratulations to Ilana Nisky and Kirk Nichols who both completed some epic races over the weekend. Ilana did the 26.2 mile San Francisco Marathon in 4:43. Kirk completed the Vineman Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 run) in 12:42. Way to represent!

June 28, 2012

Tom Wedlick, Troy Adebar and Amy Blank survived epic heat and screaming soccer fans to present at the BioRob 2012 Conference in Rome Italy. Tom was arrested for attempting to remove marble sections of the Colosseum, but all charges were later dropped after he bought the police pizza.

June 19, 2012

Dr Yoshihiro Kuroda of Osaka University has joined the CHARM Lab as a visiting professor. His research interests include medical simulation, haptics, and modelling. Welcome Yoshi!

June 18, 2012

Byungjoo Lee, a visiting Ph.D. student from SNU (Seoul National University), will be here throughout the week working in the lab. He is here as part of an exchange program called SNU/SU Workshop that has continued for 10 years.

June 1, 2012

Ilana Nisky gave a seminar at the BioE department seminar about "How Can Studying the Perceptuomotor System of the Operator be Utilized for the Design of Teleoperation, Virtual Environments, and Robot Assisted Surgery"

May 22, 2012

Tom Wedlick presented a poster on needle friction modeling at the 2012 BioMechanical Engineering Conference at Stanford, which featured posters and presentations by PhD students and Postdocs and a keynote address by Dr. Robert Full.

May 14-18, 2012

CHARMers will be at ICRA 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota! Dana will present her paper "Wearable Haptic Device for Cutaneous Force and Slip Speed Display". In addition, Allison Okamura, Tom Wedlick, and Ann Majewicz will present at a workshop called Pathways to Clinical Needle Steering: Recent Advances and Future Applications.

May 7, 2012

Hawkeye King, a University of Washington Ph.D. student in Blake Hannaford's Biorobotics Lab visited and gave a seminar about his work with the Raven robot.

April 25, 2012

Allison's first Ph.D. student Jake Abbott, now an Assistant Professor at University of Utah, visited to give a surgical robotics seminar and visit several of the Stanford robotics labs. Jake's seminar slides can be downloaded here.

April 20, 2012

Congratulations to Troy Adebar and Kirk Nichols, who passed the ME PhD Qualifying Exam!

April 2, 2012

Allison is teaching a new class, ME328: Medical Robotics, which is organized with some overlap with CS/ME 571: Surgical Robotics Seminar. She is co-teaching with Federico Barbagli. All assignments and lecture notes will be posted on the course website.

March 7, 2012

Several lab members participated in the annual ME 218B Design Competition this past week. The robot built by the unofficial CHARM Lab Dream Team (lab members Kirk Nichols, Michele "MiRo" Rotella and Troy Adebar along with teammate Holly He) came in first in the competition, going undefeated in four rounds of head-to-head robotic action. The robot built by Rob Romano and Sam Schorr also did very well, making it to the quarterfinals before losing to the unstoppable Dream Team. See videos of the competition on youtube here. Nice bot building everybody!

Kirk MiRo Troy and Holly with their bot.

February 29, 2012

Video clips from the HAPI Band Project (Zhan Fan Quek, Michele Rotella, Kelleher Guerin, Xingchi He, Allison Okamura) and the Air-jet lump display (Jim Gwilliam, Alperen Degirmenci, Matteo Bianchi, Allison Okamura) were included in the 2012 Haptics Symposium Demo teaser video! Have a look:

January 22, 2012

The study of Ilana Nisky about perception of stiffness in laparoscopy from her former lab (Dr. Amir Karniel's Computational Motor Control Lab at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) was featured in BGU press release

January 13, 2012

Sadly, Dana Damian has left the CHARM lab and returned to the University of Zurich to complete her Ph.D., but not before giving us a gift!

Danas gift to the lab

January 19, 2012

Allison's former Ph.D. student Bob Webster, now an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University, visited to give a seminar and visit several of the Stanford robotics labs.

January 9, 2012

The CHARM Lab retreat took place this weekend at the Northstar Resort at Tahoe. The evenings were full of research discussion, professional development sessions and lab business. On Saturday our experienced climbers gave many people their first taste of rock climbing, while a few of us proved you really don't need any snow at all to have a great day skiing. Retreat!

CHARM Lab members on retreat
CHARM Lab members on a hiking and climbing trip near Lake Tahoe

January 4, 2011

We gave a CHARM Lab tour to the Castilleja school robotics club, an all-girls FIRST robotics team. Go Gatorbotics!

CHARM Lab members with the Castilleja school robotics club

January 3, 2011

We are pleased to welcome winter quarter rotation students to the lab. Taylor Newton, Zhan Fan Quek, and Fidel Hernandez will continue their projects from last quarter. Rob Romano, Sam Schorr, Andrew Stanley, Jaehyun Bae, Jared Muirhead, and Shameek Ganguly, all first-year master's students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will be working on projects in the lab this quarter.

Autumn 2011

December 6, 2011

Prof. Septimiu (Tim) E. Salcudean from the University of British Columbia is visiting. He will give a special seminar Tues. Dec. 6 @ 2 pm in MERL 203:

Title: Elastography imaging and image guided interventions

Abstract: Elastography imaging is concerned with the measurement and display of tissue strain or with the identification of tissue intrinsic properties from the measured strain in response to a mechanical excitation. Elastography as an imaging modality presents us with a rich and beautiful set of inter-disciplinary problems, and includes tissue actuator design, specific image sequence design, motion estimation from images, viscoelastic parameter estimation from motion, and computational acceleration of these to the level where real-time performance is achieved.

We present our own contributions to elastography, and we will show that, in particular, ultrasound elastography images are better at delineating the prostate than B-mode ultrasound. We also present our experience with ultrasound elastography examination of the breast and with magnetic resonance elastography of the prostate. We will demonstrate the use of elastography-derived deformable models in a prostate brachytherapy simulator and treatment planner. Finally, we will present a survey of projects in the area of ultrasound image guidance for the da Vinci surgical robot for radical prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy.

Biography: Tim Salcudean received the B. Eng (Hons.) and M.Eng degrees from McGill University and the Ph.D. degree from U.C. Berkeley, all in Electrical Engineering. From 1986 to 1989, he was a Research Staff Member in the robotics group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He then joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, where he is now a Professor and holds a Canada Research Chair and the C.A. Laszlo Chair in Biomedical Engineering. He spent one year at ONERA-CERT (aerospace controls laboratory) in Toulouse, France, in 1996-1997, where he held a Killam Research Fellowship, and six months, during 2005, in the medical robotics group (GMCAO) at CNRS in Grenoble. France. His current research interests are in medical robotics and ultrasound image guidance, elastography, medical simulation and virtual environments. Prof. Salcudean has been a co-organizer of several symposia on haptic interfaces and has served as a Technical and Senior Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and of the IEEE.

November 23, 2011

Allison was featured in the November 2011 IEEE Women in Engineering Newsletter. (The information is a little outdated, but it is exciting to be profiled!)

November 4, 2011

The CHARM Lab hosts the Design Group Happy Hour! Please join us in the Peterson Grove (Building 550, east side) starting at 4:30 pm for drinks, food, and good company. Equally Attractive Non-Alcoholic Beverages (EANABs) will also be served. :)

October 26, 2011

Allison is appointed the Robert Bosch Faculty Scholar.

October 18, 2011

Congratulations to Nick Colonnese who passed all three topics in the ME PhD Qualifying Exam!

October 1, 2011

The Stanford Robotics labs hosted tours for IROS attendees. Thanks to Nick and Taylor for directing the buses, Michele, Ann, and Dana for providing demonstrations, and Zhan for leading the tour groups around. Here are a few pictures from the demos:

October 1, 2011

We are pleased to welcome fall quarter rotation students to the lab. Taylor Newton, Zhan Fan Quek, and Fidel Hernandez are all master's students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

September 25-30, 2011

The CHARM Lab attended the 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in San Francisco. Ann Majewicz and Tom Wedlick presented posters at the Workshop on Image-Guided Medical Robotic Interventions. Allison presented an invited talk at the Workshop on Methods for Safer Surgical Robotics Procedures. Yoshihiko Koseki, who was a visitor to the Johns Hopkins University Haptics Lab from 2010-2011, presented his paper (co-authored with Danilo De Lorenzo, Kiyo Chinzei, and Allison) entitled "Coaxial needle insertion assistant for epidural puncture".

We also had a demonstration, "A Robotic System for Needle Steering", in collaboration with Ken Goldberg's lab at UC Berkeley. Ann coordinated the demo.

Needle steering demonstration
From left to right: Animesh Garg, Ann Majewicz, Allison Okamura, Tom Wedlick, Dmitry Berenson, and Timmy Slauw

Summer 2011

August 29 - September 2, 2011

Haptics/CHARM Lab members at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference
Jim, Allison, Tricia, Danilo, and Dana

Haptics/CHARM Lab members and visitors presented five papers at the 2011 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference in Boston, Mass. this week:

  • Dana D. Damian, Alejandro Hernandez Arieta and Allison M. Okamura
    Design and Evaluation of a Multi-Modal Haptic Skin Stimulation Apparatus
  • Matteo Bianchi, James C. Gwilliam, Alperen Degirmenci, and Allison M. Okamura
    Characterization of an Air Jet Haptic Lump Display
  • Danilo De Lorenzo, Yoshihiko Koseki, Elena De Momi, Kiyoyuki Chinzei, and Allison M. Okamura
    Experimental evaluation of a coaxial needle insertion assistant with enhanced force feedback
  • Ehsan Basafa, Shahin Sefati and Allison M. Okamura
    Assessing the Quality of Force Feedback in Soft Tissue Simulation
  • Tricia L. Gibo, Michele F. Rotella, Amy J. Bastian, and Allison M. Okamura
    Gradual anisometric-isometric transition for human-machine interfaces

August 1, 2011

ToH special Issue cover

The IEEE Transactions on Haptics published a Special Issue on "Haptics in Medicine and Clinical Skill Acquisition" (vol. 4, no. 3), guest edited by Allison Okamura, Cagatay Basdogan, Sarah Baillie, and William Harwin. The ToH webpage features a podcast discussion between AE Federico Barbagli and Allison.

July 1, 2011

Allison's official first day as a Stanford Professor!

June 27, 2011

Robert Webster

Former Johns Hopkins Mechanical Engineering PhD student Robert J. Webster (Bob), co-advised by Allison Okamura and Noah Cowan, was awarded the "Dick Volz Best Robotics PhD Thesis Award" from among all of the robotics theses completed in the US in 2007. The award was presented at the 2011 Robotics: Science and Systems conference. Bob's thesis "Design and Mechanics of Continuum Robotics for Surgery" grew out of a collaborative project with Allison Okamura, Greg Chirikjian, Noah Cowan, and Ken Goldberg (UC Berkeley) on steerable needles. The award winner is selected several years after completion of the thesis, in order to understand the long-term impact of the work.

Bob's thesis work is having a major impact on the field; groups around the world have been following up on many aspects of the ideas laid out in his thesis. For example, his first journal paper on robotic needle steering (coauthored with JHU ME PhD graduate Jin Seob Kim and three robotics faculty at JHU) has amassed 155 citations since it was published in 2006, according to google scholar. This thesis award is a great recognition of Bob's innovative work, in addition to the excellent and collaborative environment fostered in the robotics group at Johns Hopkins. Bob has been an Assistant Professor of Mechanical of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University since 2008, and he runs the Medical and Electromechanical Design (MED) Lab.

June 23, 2011

Kirk Nichols is the first CHARM Lab member to arrive at Stanford! Mark Cutkosky snapped this picture of Kirk, who had joined the BDML for their summer kick-off retreat.

Kirk Nichols
Caption from Mark: The Okamura lab's advance scout reaches the end of the continent