- Friday 8 December 2023, 13.00 - 15.00
- NB Change of Venue - Electrical Engineering Keysight Technologies LT (1.52)
From the Renaissance barber to the autonomous robot for a safer surgery, Elena De Momi
The lecture will narrate the progress of surgery in time in order to show how robots could answer to the surgeon needs for a safer intervention, from open surgery, to minimally invasive and endoluminal approaches. The span of possible tasks performed by robots have increased during the years, as well as their capabilities of performing actions without supervision, sometimes offering super-human capabilities. To do so, computer vision, advanced control and ergonomics methodologies play a fundamental role. How can surgeons of tomorrow effectively benefit from their robot companion?
Elena received her MSc in Biomedical Engineering in 2002, PhD in Bioengineering in 2006, and she is currently Associate Professor in the Electronic Information and Bioengineering Department (DEIB) of Politecnico di Milano. She is co-founder of the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory, in 2008, being responsible of the Medical Robotics section. IEEE Senior Member, she is currently Senior Editor of the Int. Journal of Robotics Research, Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine and Associate Editor of IEEE Transaction on Robotics and Robotics and Automation Letters. She has been Publication Chair and Co-Chair for IEEE ICRA 2019, 2023 and 2024 and is Program Chair of IROS 2025. She is responsible for the lab course in Medical Robotics, of the courses on Clinical Technology Assessment and Smart Hospital of the MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and she serves in the board committee of the PhD course in Bioengineering and of the National PhD in Robotics and Intelligent Machines.
An Overview of Computer-Aided Methods for Designing Soft Robotic Systems
Compliant Mechanisms (CMs), along with Soft Robotic devices formed therewith, may be defined as engineering systems achieving force and motions transmission via the deflection of flexible members. CMs have increasingly gained a strong foothold in the scientific arena owing to their hinge-less nature, shock resistance, potential single-piece manufacturability, safety in human-machine interaction, minimal maintenance requirements, and adaptability to work in unstructured environments. In parallel, current advances in the production of inherently compliant sensory-motor apparatus, as well as progresses in the development of robust control methods, are paving the way to practical CM adoption in a large variety of engineering fields, here including healthcare, manufacturing, inspection/maintenance, and agrifood. In light of these considerations, the objective of the present talk is to critically discuss, on the basis of our experience, engineering methods and related Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools allowing for the (automatic) computation of accurate CM models and for the shape optimization of complex-shaped CMs comprising out-of-plane displacements, distributed compliance, and non-linear materials. After a brief overview of current and past projects, few case studies are critically discussed, highlighting how the suggested techniques, which combines reliable numerical results to the visual insight of CAE tools, may be particularly useful for analysing/designing spatial CMs composed of non-trivial topologies. Specific attention will be devoted to CMs application on robot hands/grippers, end-effectors for minimally invasive surgery, and variable stiffness actuation systems.
Giovanni Berselli is Full Professor and Chair of Design Methods for Industrial Engineering at the University of Genova & Affiliated Researcher with the Advanced Robotics Department at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). Within his Department, Prof. Berselli is the Coordinator of the PhD Degree in Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering, the Referent for the Industry 4.0 Curriculum for the National Doctorate in Robotics and Intelligent Machines, the Delegate for International Relations & the Erasmus program coordinator. Prof. Berselli is a Fellow of the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), Chair of ASME Italy Section, &. past Chair of the ASME Technical Committee on Modeling, Dynamics, and Control of Adaptive Systems. He has been Visiting & Affiliated Scientist at Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital, at the German Aerospace Agency (DLR), at the University of Twente, at Monash University and with the School of Advanced Studies of the University of Navarra. He is currently Senior Editor for IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Section Editor-in-Chief for the journal Machines, Associate Editor for International Journal of Interactive Design & Manufacturing. He has authored more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed international journals or conference proceedings and edited two international books. Recipient of several ASME, IEEE and IFToMM Best Paper Awards, he is Scientific Advisor for the spin-off company Adaptronics S.r.l. and Technical Advisor for the company PHM Technology. Prof. Berselli's scientific activity is focused on the design and experimental evaluation of: i) robot hands & grippers; ii) compliant/soft mechanisms and actuators for safe human-robot interaction; iii) energy-aware industrial robotics.