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Medical Robotics Laboratory For Biomedical Engineers

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

BME Laboratories and Skills-Based Projects

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.881.1 - 13.881.21



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Paper Authors

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Pawel Malysz McMaster University

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Ali Shahdi McMaster University

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Ryan Leslie Quanser Inc

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Mahyar Fotoohi Quanser Inc

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Paul Karam Quanser Inc

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Medical Robotics Laboratory for Biomedical Engineers


The increasing role of technology in the delivery of healthcare services has necessitated the training of engineers with complimentary background in engineering and health sciences. In response to this demand, universities and educational institutions around the globe are beginning to create undergraduate programs in biomedical engineering and developing new curriculums to support such programs. Medical Robotics is a Level 4 compulsory course in McMaster University’s new established Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program. This paper provides an overview of a laboratory component which has been co-developed by McMaster University and Quanser Consulting Inc. for this course. First, the motivations for introducing a Medical Robotics course into the Biomedical Engineering curriculum and the desired learning outcomes pursued by the proposed laboratory experiments are discussed. These are followed by a brief introduction of the hardware/software system used in the lab as well as detailed descriptions of four experiments developed to achieve the learning objectives.

1. Background and Motivation

In recent years, interest in applications of robotics technology in medical interventional procedures has grown enormously. Although the number of existing robotic-based clinical procedures is still limited, there is ample evidence that market for such technologies is rapidly expanding [1]. Robotic devices are emerging as essential components of state-of-the-art of computer-integrated surgical platforms. Whether in orthopedic surgery, percutaneous therapy, or minimally-invasive surgery/telesurgery, robotics technology has enabled new and improved methods of healthcare delivery resulting in less patient trauma, improved operation outcome, and shorter hospital stays [2-4]. For example, robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery has significantly improved upon conventional laparoscopic surgery by allowing direct control of the surgical instrument inside the patient’s body, by removing surgeon’s hand tremor, and by providing motion scaling capability. Vision-guided robotic systems have increased the accuracy and effectiveness of radioactive seed implantation and tissue biopsy in percutaneous therapy. Robotic-based medical simulators have also the potential to revolutionize the training of medical interventional procedures by allowing student trainees to operate in virtual environments while receiving realistic force and visual feedback from the task. The growing use of robotic-assistive technologies in healthcare delivery is creating an increased demand for biomedical engineers with educational background in robotics and real-time control systems. Conventional courses offered in electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering bachelor’s programs each to some extent cover certain aspects of this emerging field. However, in our opinion, it is critical to develop a dedicated course to the subject matter so these multidisciplinary subjects can be taught in a coherent curriculum with an emphasis on biomedical applications.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University has recently launched an innovative undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering. Due to the growing impact of robotics on the field of

Sirouspour, S., & Malysz, P., & Shahdi, A., & Leslie, R., & Fotoohi, M., & Karam, P. (2008, June), Medical Robotics Laboratory For Biomedical Engineers Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3767

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