Bio-robotics lab at Stanford
Last week I visited the Bio-robotics lab belonging to Prof. Ken Salisbury at Stanford University, in Silicon valley. (This is equivalent of the JKS robotics group.). Even though the professor was out of town, I could talk to some of the folks and learnt many things. The group is rather small, approximately seven guys, all grad students. Most of them have finished the MS (which requires tremendous classes and project work at Stanford), and now focusing on research. They are all very self-sustaining and autonomous, finding their own projects, sometimes even forging some industrail cooperation behind. The actual lab area is located in the new James H. Clark Center, together with other interdisciplinary people, such as biochemists and genetic engineers. The majority of their projects focus on haptics, smaller scale robotics and robotics design. Having a decent machine shop, they can prepare the modells and the prototypes very quickly from wood. Different surgical human interfaces are also developed to better serve ergonomics and functionality. One of the interesting things I was introduced to is a haptic simulator for sinus surgery. (As I had some experience with our robot, if was great to play around with the realistic program.) Another promising area is the magnet guided endoscopy. They use external EM field to steer micro-endoscopes within the body. Many of the projects are run in cooperation with the Stanford MedSchool right next door.