Robotics and Intelligent Machines Center (RIM) Seminar-Robert J. Webster III

Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are held in room 1116 in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building from 12-1 p.m. Seminars are open to the public.

Robert J. Webster III, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, presents Enabling Technologies for More Accurate, Less Invasive Robotic Surgery.

This seminar will focus on recent results from the Vanderbilt Medical & Electromechanical Design Laboratory on concentric tube robots, capsule endoscopy, and robotic cochlear implant surgery, together with a brief discussion on fledgling mechatronic STEM education projects for both healthy and disabled students. Concentric tube robots are thin “tentacle-like” robots able to elastically wind around and through delicate anatomy, minimizing damage while accessing challenging surgical sites. Enabling these robots to achieve their potential requires mechanics-based models, image guidance, path planning, and end effector design. The capsule endoscopy portion of the talk will cover swallowable pill-sized robots capable of locomotion, insufflation, and therapy delivery in the GI tract. The talk will also address robot-assisted otologic surgery, which involves bone shaping and drilling in the skull to facilitate cochlear implantation and other inner-ear procedures.

Robert J. Webster III received his BS in electrical engineering from Clemson University in 2002, and his MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and 2007. In 2008, he joined the mechanical engineering faculty of Vanderbilt University, where he currently directs the Medical & Electromechanical Design (MED) Laboratory. Dr. Webster's research interests include medical robotics, image-guided surgery, and continuum robotics. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2011, and an IEEE Volz award for PhD thesis impact on the field of robotics.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, September 5, 2012
    12:00 pm - Thursday, September 6, 2012
    12:59 pm
Location: Marcus Nanotechnology Building
Phone: (404) 385-3300

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Josie Giles
RIM Communications Officer