Welcome to the Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab at Stanford University!

The CHARM Lab is committed to fostering an anti-racist, diverse, and equitable environment. We strive to build an inclusive culture centered around innovation in haptics and robotics. We encourage, support, and celebrate diverse perspectives.

For announcements and videos about our work, please see our Instagram and the CHARM Lab YouTube Channel.

Haptics, the sense of touch, is crucial for human exploration and manipulation of the world. In medicine and rehabilitation, haptic interaction is often necessary for reasons of performance, safety, and user acceptance. Our research is devoted to developing the principles and tools needed to realize advanced robotic and human-machine systems capable of haptic interaction. We are particularly interested in:

  • Teleoperation: Devices, models, and control systems that allow human operators to manipulate environments that are remote in scale and/or distance. Prostheses can also be considered a form of teleoperator.
  • Virtual Environments: Specialized models, simulators, control systems, and devices that enable compelling touch-based interaction with computers (e.g., surgical simulators and planners).
  • Robotic Manipulation: Robots that physically manipulate their environment or their own shape, incorporating novel designs, touch sensors, and control systems.

We design and study haptic systems using both analytical and experimental approaches. This research has applications in many areas, including robot-assisted surgery, simulation and training, rehabilitation, exploration of hazardous or remote environments, enabling technologies, manufacturing, design, mobile computing, and education. A major theme of our work is biomedical systems.

The CHARM Lab is directed by Prof. Allison Okamura, and is part of the Design and Biomechanics Groups of the Mechanical Engineering Department. The CHARM Lab is also part of the Center for Design Research.