Houston, TX 77005
4:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2013
On Campus | Alumni
Image-guided minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized the standard of care throughout the body. While robotics has been an important part of the solution for certain laparoscopic procedures, its impact has been limited by the size and straight-line access requirement of many existing robotic systems. Our lab is investigating smaller, less-invasive robot technologies and two will be described in this talk. The first is a type of continuum robot that is based on concentrically combining pre-curved elastic tubes. We are designing these robots together with a tool set with the goal of converting intracardiac procedures currently performed as open-heart surgery to percutaneous, beating-heart interventions. We are also developing tetherless robots that can move or swim inside the body and that are powered, controlled and imaged using an MRI scanner. Applications of this technology at several length scales will be discussed including robotic implants for applying tissue traction forces and millimeter-scale robots for targeted drug delivery.