The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | October 10, 2008

Robotics Institute Seminar, October 10, 2008
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Toward Steerable Cannula and Legged Capsule Robots in Medicine



Robert Webster

Vanderbilt University


Time and Place


Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305 )

Time: 3:30 to 4:30 pm




Steerable Needles and Active Cannulas are new robotic devices that have the potential to reach previously inoperable disease sites under image guidance. Thin and dexterous, these mm-scale "tentacle-like" robots elastically wind around and through delicate anatomy, minimizing damage. I will also describe recent work toward building legged endoscopic "pill-cam" robots that will be swallowable and capable of locomotion and/or direct surgical intervention in the GI tract. For each of the above systems, I will present recent results at the Vanderbilt Medical and Electromechanical Design Lab on design, kinematic modeling, and control, highlighting the non-traditional ways we utilize physical principles to achieve dexterous robotic motion.


Speaker Biography


Robert J. Webster III received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Clemson University in 2002, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and 2007, supported by NSF and NDSEG fellowships. In January of 2008, he joined the mechanical engineering faculty of Vanderbilt University, where he currently directs the Medical and Electromechanical Design (MED) Laboratory. Prof. Webster's research interests include medical robotics, image-guided surgery, human-machine interfaces, and continuum robotics.


Speaker Appointments


For appointments, please contact Peggy Martin (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.