The Robotics Institute
RI | Seminar | June 6

Robotics Institute Seminar, June 6
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Computer-Assisted Interventions & Medical Robotics Research at Georgetown University Medical Center

Kevin Cleary
Georgetown University Medical Center

Time and Place

1305 Newell-Simon Hall
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm


A research program in computer assisted interventions and medical robotics at Georgetown University will be presented. This is a U.S. Army funded project to develop physician-assist systems for precision placement and manipulation of medical instruments during minimally invasive procedures. Physician-assist systems can incorporate three-dimensional visualization, mechanical systems such as robots, and optical and magnetic localization systems. An overview of two current projects will be given:

In the medical robotics arena, we have recently received FDA approval to use a small needle driver robot for placement of a 22-gauge needle for nerve and facet blocks in the spine. The needle driver robot was designed and built at Johns Hopkins Urology Robotics (URobotics) Laboratory, where it has been applied to percutaneous nephrostomy. The robot is controlled by the physician through a joystick and a touch screen interface. Cadaver studies and an initial clinical trial have been completed and these results will be presented.

For tracking internal organ motion, we have been developing a novel image-guided surgery system based on magnetic field sensor localization. The AURORA (Northern Digital, Waterloo, Canada) is a magnetic field based positioning sensor system that is capable of tracking tiny sensor coils (0.9 mm in diameter and 8 mm in length). These coils can be embedded in needles, catheters, and other instruments to enable us to track internal organs. To test this concept, we have built a liver respiratory motion simulator. Initial experimental results using this simulator will be presented.

Speaker Biography

Kevin Cleary is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Georgetown University. He is part of the Imaging Science and Information Systems (ISIS) Center and the principal investigator for an Army-funded project on technology improvements in minimally invasive procedures. His research interests are in image-guided interventions, medical robotics, and 3-D visualization. Dr. Cleary received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1990. He was an NSF Postdoctoral Researcher at the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan. He worked in the robotics field at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and for a Department of Defense contractor before joining Georgetown in 1996.

Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Jim Osborn (

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