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User Interface Design for Surgical Robot

Primary Investigators:
Dr. Robert Webster
Brief Description of Project:

The Vanderbilt Medical Engineering and Discovery Lab (MED Lab) is currently working on developing continuum robots to perform complicated minimally invasive surgeries. One aspect of this research is providing surgeons with a user interface to control the robot in an intuitive and natural manner. While we currently use a 3D space mouse, we have been working on a touchpad-based 3D user interface that tracks the fingertip of the surgeon directly in 3D position  and  maps  it  robot  tip  to  solve  this  problem.  Our  design  utilizes  a  familiar  touchpad interface (to control the x-and y-position) mounted on a spring with loadcell (to control the z-position). 

This research project will look at improving the design and implementation of this touchpad controller, while also comparing it to other possible user interfaces.

Desired Qualifications:
We are interested in motivated, curious, and resourceful individuals. The student should be familiar with CAD (Solidworks preferably) and ideally have experience with basic electronics (arduino and breadboard). Most importantly, they should be open to learning and hands-on work.
Nature of Supervision:
You will work with Dr. Webster and Jesse d'Almeida (PhD Student) along with several others on the project. General guidelines and assistance will be provided as it is a collaborative project but you are encouraged to make this project your own and improve it how you see fit.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
1) Become familiar with lab environment and background
   2-5) Iterate through controller designs
   5-7) compare with other controllers
  7-10) implement controller system on robot
Number of Open Slots: 1
Contact Information:
Name: Jesse d'Almeida
Department: Mechanical Engineering