The Robotics Institute

Cameron Riviere, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor, The Robotics Institute
Associate Research Professor (by courtesy), Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
Director, Surgical Mechatronics Laboratory
Carnegie Mellon University

Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Rehabilitation Science & Technology
University of Pittsburgh

Email: cam.riviere (at)
Office: Newell-Simon Hall 3107
Phone: (412) 268-3083
Fax: 412-268-7350

Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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Dr. Riviere received the Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in 1995, and joined the Robotics Institute the same year. He received second place in the 1995 Whitaker Student Paper Competition of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Since 1997 he has also been an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Research interests

I am interested in control systems, robotic devices, signal processing, learning algorithms, and high-precision interfaces for biomedical applications, including surgery and rehabilitation. I seek to develop intelligent tools that:

Most of my projects involve one or more of the following areas.

Robotic and mechatronic devices for microsurgery and minimally invasive surgery. One such project is "Micron," a fully hand-held intelligent microsurgical instrument with active compensation of the surgeon's hand tremor. I have also recently begun a project in robotic instrumentation for minimally invasive heart surgery.

Filtering methods for tremor and non-tremulous error. Distinguishing between desired and undesired motion in user interfaces often requires nonlinear filtering. I develop techniques such as adaptive filters and neural-network-based methods for online estimation of both tremor and non-tremulous types of erroneous motion.

High-precision instrumentation to track microsurgical tools. Peformance validation for microsurgical tools is not a trivial task, since movements as small as a few microns are significant. My research involves the need for precision tracking instrumentation in order to establish the performance baseline of unassisted surgeons, provide raw data for further filter development, and validate the performance of microsurgical devices. Using one such instrument I have acquired what are believed to be the world's first recordings of physiological hand tremor during actual microsurgery.


ASAP - non-contact 3-D surgical instrument tracking for device testing and surgeon assessment
HeartLander - A miniature mobile robot for minimally invasive therapy on the beating heart through a single percutaneous incision.
Joystick Filtering for Movement Disorders - Filtering of joystick input for computer users with movement disorders
Micron: Intelligent Microsurgical Instruments - Suppression of hand tremor to improve precision in microsurgery.
Needle Steering for Brain Surgery - We are developing high accuracy proportional steering of flexible needles for minimally invasive navigation in the brain.

Publications (See my official RI webpage for downloadable publications)

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Conference Papers

Technical Reports

Non-work-related stuff