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Surgical Robot Competition Introducing Engineering In Medicine To Pre College Students

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1044.1 - 7.1044.13



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Paper Authors

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Russell Taylor

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Randal Goldberg

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Oleg Gerovichev

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Ian Donn

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Anand Viswanathan

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

Main Menu Session 2793

Surgical Robot Competition – Introducing Engineering in Medicine to Pre-college Students

Oleg Gerovichev, Randal P. Goldberg, Ian D. Donn, Anand Viswanathan, Russell H. Taylor

Department of Biomedical Engineering / Department of Mechanical Engineering / Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering/ Department of Computer Science/ Department of Computer Science Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland)


Robotics is a multidisciplinary field that holds great potential for hands-on education throughout a student’s school career. However, making technology accessible for learning is challenging due to cost, safety and implementation concerns. This paper describes a method for drawing on current, real life challenges faced by researchers in the field and translating such experiences into a secondary school level program. The concept of the competition, application of LEGO Mindstorms® robotics platform, methods of organization and expansion, past experiences and future plans are presented. Our goal is to show an example of how to integrate off-the-shelf robotic technology with current real-world engineering challenges and to engage students in the fields of engineering, robotics, and medicine in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Introduction and Background

Modern medical practice relies on innovation and technology to provide better solutions in the operating room. Doctors, scientists and engineers work together to improve current surgical care by designing tools and machines to overcome human limitations, namely precision, control, reliability, patience and memory. Computers and robots do not have these restrictions. Computers have had such an impact on surgery that many current procedures would be impossible or significantly more difficult without them. Computers aid surgeons by displaying images of internal organs through computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or exposing brain function through electroencephalographic analysis. Robots can function as surgical assistants [1] or even substitute for the surgeon on location (e.g. telesurgery).

Robotics is a popular tool for science and engineering education on various levels because of its multidisciplinary nature. The development of a successful robot incorporates knowledge from a variety of disciplines such as physics, math, mechanical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, and computer science as well as a variety of skills gained through practical experience. There is also a need for equipment: raw building materials and shop tools, wires and a soldering iron, a variety of computers and, often, complicated programming interfaces. A complete engineering education is founded on the acquisition of these skills, yet the time and

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Taylor, R., & Goldberg, R., & Gerovichev, O., & Donn, I., & Viswanathan, A. (2002, June), Surgical Robot Competition Introducing Engineering In Medicine To Pre College Students Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10654

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