Raven in the news!

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The Raven surgical robot was featured in episode 5 of “Heartbeat”, NBC’s new medical drama.  Check out the episode here.







Also, BRL’s spinoff company Applied Dexterity took Raven to NASA as a part of efforts to take the surgical robot to the International Space Station.  Applied Dexterity talked about their visit here.

BRL researchers work to give surgeons ear sculpting practice

Photo credit: University of Washington
Photo credit: University of Washington

Work done by BRL researchers Angelique Berens and Sharon Newman to improve how surgeons help children with missing or underdeveloped ears has been has been highlighted by the UW Today news. They have been working on a new technique to allow surgeons to practice carving a new ear from rib cartilage before the actual surgery takes place. Using a patient’s CT scan to make a mold allows them to quickly and cheaply make lifelike practice models that will lead to surgeons having more expertise in ear sculpting techniques. Read the full story here – 

BioRobotics Lab and UW Medicine team up to test virtual ‘warm-ups’ for surgeons

lendvayThe UW Health Sciences news article announced our latest new project in collaboration with UW Medicine to test virtual-reality warm-ups for surgeons before they perform robotic surgery. The project will be lead by BRL-affiliate faculty member Thomas Lendvay, who is a UW associate professor of urology. Also leading the project is Timothy Brand from the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma. The study will be performed in collaboration with the BRL’s Blake Hannaford.  For more information about the project, check out the full article here

Upcoming BRL Papers at IROS 2015

The BioRobotics Lab has had four papers accepted to the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Hamburg, Germany this coming Fall. We’re looking forward to presenting our recent research and contributions to the robotics field. The 2015 ICRA papers authored by BRL researchers are:

Improving Position Precision of a Servo-Controlled Elastic Cable Driven Surgical Robot Using Unscented Kalman Filter” by Mohammad Haghighipanah, Yangming Li, Muneaki Miyasaka, and Blake Hannaford.

Path Planning for Semi-automated Simulated Robotic Neurosurgery” by Danying Hu, Yuanzheng Gong, Blake Hannaford, and Eric J. Seibel.

Measurement of the Cable-Pulley Coulomb and Viscous Friction for a Cable-Driven Surgical Robotic System” by Muneaki Miyasaka, Joseph Matheson, Andrew Lewis, and Blake Hannaford.

Haptic Passwords” by Junjie Yan, Kevin Huang, Tamara Bonaci, and Howard J. Chizeck.


Additionally, incoming EE Professor Sam Burden, who will be joining the BRL, has also coauthored a paper to be presented at IROS:

Personalized Kinematics for Human–Robot Collaborative Manipulation” by Aaron M. Bestick, Samuel A. Burden, Giorgia Willits, Nikhil Naikal , S. Shankar Sastry, and Ruzena Bajcsy.

C-SATS, a new BRL-affiliated spinoff, raises $2.5M to evaluate surgeons

csats_logoC-SATS is a new BRL-affiliated startup that aims to crowd-source evaluation of surgical skills to qualified experts and extra-institutional reviewers. The startup was founded by BRL alumni Timothy Kowalewski and Lee White as well as BRL affiliated faculty member Tom Lendvay. Check out the C-SATS website for more information at www.csats.com/

C-SATS was also recently covered by an extensive Geekwire article available here.

Upcoming Publications and Conferences

Members of the BRL will be presenting a number of papers at upcoming conferences this spring. The final papers will be posted to this website after each of the respective conferences.


WeRobot 2015 http://www.werobot2015.org/, the fourth annual conference on Robotics, Law and policy, will be held in Seattle on April 10-11, 2015. This innovative conference includes formal (and informal) discussions of papers by experts from government, NGO’s, corporations and legal experts, as well as academics. Two of the papers to be addressed in this conference involve our lab:

I Did It My Way: On Law And Operator Signatures for Teleoperated Robots by Tamara Bonaci, Aaron Alva, Jeffrey Herron, Ryan Calo, Howard Jay Chizeck

Personal Responsibility in the Age of User-Controlled Neuroprosthetics by Patrick Moore, Timothy Brown, Jeffrey Herron, Margaret Thompson, Tamara Bonaci, Sara Goering, and Howard Chizeck.


The 2015 Cyberphysical Systems Week Conference  http://www.cpsweek.org/2015/  will be held in Seattle from April 14-16, 2014. This international conference (since 2008) now encompasses four ACM and IEEE conferences. Our lab’s contribution is:

Experimental Analysis of Denial-of-Service Attacks on Teleoperated Robotic Systems by Tamara Bonaci, Junjie Yan, Jeffrey Herron, Tadayoshi Kohno, Howard Jay Chizeck


The 2015 7th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering http://neuro.embs.org/2015/  will be held in Montpellier, France from April 22-24. One of the papers at that conference will be:

Closed-Loop DBS with Movement Intention by Jeffrey Herron, Tim Denison, and Howard Jay Chizeck


The 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)  http://icra2015.org/  will be held in Seattle from May25-May 30, 2015.  From our lab, the following papers have been accepted:

Semi-autonomous Simulated Brain Tumor Ablation with RavenII Surgical Robot using Behavior Tree by Danying Hu, Yuanzheng Gong, Blake Hannaford, and Eric J. Seibel

Sensor-Aided Teleoperated Grasp of Transparent Objects by Kevin Huang, Liang-Ting Jiang, Joshua R. Smith, and Howard Jay Chizeck



BRL attends the 4th Biennial North American Summer School on Surgical Robotics

Professor Blake Hannaford and two of BRL Students, Nava Aghdasi and Mohammad Haghighipanah, attended the 4th Biennial North American Summer School on Surgical Robotics. The Summer school was at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh for a week. Click here for more info about the program

Participants, PhD students, MD students and postdocs, had a chance to attend several lectures which gave them an in-depth coverage of topics such as surgical robotics, haptics, medical imaging, computer- assisted surgical planning, surgical simulation, training, and performance assessment. Attendees had the opportunity to view live cardiac robotic surgery and ask questions from surgeon during the surgery. On the fourth day, they went to Allegheny General Hospital to gain hands-on labs experience with laparoscopic tools and the Da Vinci surgical robot.

On the third day of the summer school Professor Blake Hannaford gave a lecture on “Analysis and Control Architecture for Semiautonomous Robotic Surgery.”
On the third day of the summer school Professor Blake Hannaford gave a lecture on “Analysis and Control Architecture for Semiautonomous Robotic Surgery.”

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