IEEE-RAS/EMBC Biorob2008

The second biannual IEEE-RAS / EMBC International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics was held in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference provided three workshops (besides the previously mentioned CIS, one on wearable lower limb exoskeletons and another on gerontechnology. The first of the three plenary talks was Imaging and Modeling Dynamic Molecular Machines in Biology from Dr. Subramaniam. He talked about molecular scale imaging to reconstruct and therefore reverse engineer cell mechanism, particularly involved with membrane processes. He highlighted Applications to HIV/AIDS and Cancer therapy, as specific receptor-affecting molecules could be developed. Probably the best talk was Dr. Cutkosky‘s about bio-inspired Running and Climbing Robots. He presented the long development process of the Big Dog running robot and the amazing Stanford Stickybot. The third one was a general introduction to humanoid robot research from Dr. Nakamura.
During the three days 6 parallel sessions were running in the following topics:
  • Biologically Inspired Systems
  • Biomechatronic Systems
  • Prostheses
  • Human-Machine Interaction
  • Exoskeletons and Augmenting Devices
  • Neuro-Robotics
  • Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics
  • Modeling Interactions
  • BioRobotics
  • Locomotion and Manipulation in Robots and Biological Systems
  • Surgery and Diagnosis
  • Micro/Nano Technologies in Medicine and Biology
Three mini-symposiums were organized (micro-robotics, cell manipulation and rehab robotics) and two poster sessions.
As the titles show, rehabilitation and macro/micro size technologies were more dominant at the conference, leaving less place for human-scale interventional technologies, what we do. There has been interesting presentations in the above mentioned area though, that will be available through the IEEE Xplore. One of my favorites was the MR powered micro-robot from ETH that uses the magnetic field to generate electricity for motion. Another one is the legged endocapsule from Paolo Dario’s lab.
The next BioRob will be in 2010 (September-October) hosted by the University of Tokyo, in Japan. Everyone is welcome there!


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