The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | Feb 1 2008

Robotics Institute Seminar, Feb 1, 2008
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Surgery over the Internet



Blake Hannaford

Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering

University of Washington


Time and Place


Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305 )

Time: 3:30 to 4:30 pm




Surgery is a demanding unstructured physical manipulation task involving highly trained humans, advanced tools, networked information systems, and uncertainty. In combat casualty care these challenges are further magnified.  This talk will review engineering and scientific research at the University of Washington Biorobotics Lab, starting in the operating room and developing towards fieldable systems, aimed at better care of patients, including remote patients in extreme environments.  Network delay and jitter properties have a significant affect on performance of telemanipulation systems.  We have measured and simulated global internet links and studied resulting performance. Mechanisms, control, and computing resources can be co-designed for robust operation over the Internet. Technologies developed include surgical robotics, teleoperation over the internet, and field-deployable wireless links.  Info is available at


Speaker Biography


Blake Hannaford, Ph.D., is Professor of Electrical Engineering, Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Surgery at the University of Washington. He received the B.S. degree in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University in 1977, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982 and 1985 respectively. Before graduate study, he held engineering positions in digital hardware and software design, office automation, and medical image processing. At Berkeley he pursued thesis research in multiple target tracking in medical images and the control of time-optimal voluntary human movement. From 1986 to 1989 he worked on the remote control of robot manipulators in the Man-Machine Systems Group in the Automated Systems Section of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech. He supervised that group from 1988 to 1989. Since September 1989, he has been at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he has been Professor of Electrical Engineering since 1997, and served as Associate Chair for Education from 1999 to 2001. He was awarded the National Science Foundation's Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Early Career Achievement Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and is an IEEE Fellow. His currently active interests include haptic displays on the internet, and surgical robotics.  He has consulted on robotic surgical devices with the Food and Drug Administration Panel on surgical devices.


Speaker Appointments


For appointments, please contact Ralph Hollis (

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