Date: Jun 17th, 2021, 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM (MDT)

Presented by: Dr. Rajni Patel, P.Eng., Distinguished University Professor and Tier-1 Canada Research Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with cross appointments in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at Western University, London, ON, Canada.

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Teleoperated (leader-follower) robotic systems offer advantages to the user of increased dexterity and precision, tremor filtering, motion repeatability, and the possibility of autonomous or semi-autonomous functions. In the time of a pandemic, such as COVID-19, they provide a means of improved safety for healthcare workers through the possibility of performing certain functions from short or long distances, such as patient monitoring, assessment and treatment. However, these teleoperated systems also have some disadvantages, primarily as a result of limitations of the current technology. These issues will be discussed in the talk in the context of two specific areas of application: robotics-assisted medical interventions and robotics for neurological movement disorders. Particular focus will be on issues arising from the absence of accurate haptic (sense of touch) feedback which prevents reflection to the user of realistic interaction forces between a robot and a patient or objects in the robot’s environment. The role of haptics-based teleoperation will be discussed based on experimental studies to highlight the key issues associated with incorporating force sensing, haptics and teleoperation in patient-oriented robotic systems and the advantages and potential uses of such interaction in specific applications.

An esteemed London, ON, IEEE Member, Dr. Rajni Patel, has been awarded the IEEE Canada A.G.L. McNaughton Award for 2021. Recipients of this medal are outstanding Canadian engineers recognized for their exemplary contributions to the engineering profession.

As part of recognizing this award, the IEEE, via the event primary sponsor, the IEEE London, ON, Section, Chapter EMB18, and via the event co-sponsor, the IEEE Southern Alberta Section (SAS) Chapter EMB18, have invited Dr. Patel to provide an overview of his research interests, already listed above.