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ARMA members congratulate Aditya Bhowmick for his new job as a software engineer at Think Surgical in Freemont CA. Aditya will be helping develop the next generation of surgical robotics for orthopedics. 
Congratulations Aditya :-)


Aditya Bhomwick has successfully defended his Masters thesis on June 20 2014. His Master's thesis is titled "User-Specified Virtual Fixtures for Augmenting Human-Robot Interaction User-Specified Virtual Fixtures". His thesis presents a culmination of work on high-level control allowing users to specify virtual fixture geometry in both cooperative manipulation and in telemanipulated robots.  Congratulations to Aditya for a job well done. Vidoes of demonstrations of some of his work can bee seen at this link.

ARMA members recieved best medical robotics paper finalist certificates for the paper Integration and Preliminary Evaluation of an Insertable Robotic Effectors Platform for Single Port Access Surgery BY Andrea Bajo, A., Roger E. Goldman, Long Wang, Dennis Fowler,  Nabil Simaan.

ICRA awards ceremony

ARMA also presented a first collaboration paper with CMU's Biorobotics LabConstrained Filtering with Contact Detection Data for the Localization and Registration of Continuum Robots in Flexible Environments by Stephen Tully, Andrea Bajo,George Kantor, Howie Choset, Nabil Simaan.

Dr. Rajarshi Roy joined ARMA lab. Rajarshi is a former Ph.D. student of Dr. Jaydev Desai and a member of the Robotics Automation and Medical Systems (RAMS) Laboratory. His research in the past five years has focused on mechanical characterization of tissue properties at the micro-scale and semi-automation of tissue hystology using atomic force microscopy. His research culminated in a dissertation titled Mechanical Characterization of Normal and Cancerous Breast Tissue Specimens Using Atomic Force Microscopy.


Rajarshi is joining the National Robotics Initiative research project titled Complementary Situational Awareness for Human-Robot Partnerships. We are thrilled that he has chosen to join our team and we look forward to his contributions to several research efforts at ARMA.

ARMA lab has recently licensed its technology for single port access surgery to Titan Medical Inc.

Titan also signed a short term research agreement with ARMA to assist with the evaluation of potential and performance of the IREP robot.

More details about this are available in the press release and the second press release.

ARMA was awarded a new grant titled NRI Large: Collaborative Research: Complementary Situational Awareness for Human-Robot Partnerships. The award funds a 5-year collaborative effort between our lab and Dr. Howie Choset at Carnegine Mellon University and Dr. Russell H. Taylor at Johns Hopkins University. See the following page for details on this interdesciplinary resesarch project.

ARMA presented the IREP (Insertable Robotic Effectros Platform) at TEDMED 2011 in San Diego. Andrea Bajo and Nabil Simaan traveled to present a demonstration of this new system as part of a university campaign presenting collaborative works between engineers and surgeons.  Here are some photos form our experience at TEDMED:

We unpacked the robot and started a workshop in a 5
star hotel :-)
Andrea Bajo assembling the demo

At the end of the day the IREP got some good night rest

The National Institute of Health has awarded the Advanced Robotics and Mechanism Applications (ARMA) a two year grant for exploratory research on use of snake-like robots for resection of bladder cancer tumors. This research is lead by Dr. Nabil Simaan (department of Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Duke S. Herrell (Department of Urology).

This project focuses on enabling higher precision, safer, and more dexterous resection and surveillance of bladder tumors. Current surgical tool limitations hinder accurate and complete tumor resections and visualization; result in improper staging and increase rates of perforations and tumor recurrence. The proposed technology will reduce surgeon burden, improve resection accuracy, and hopefully reduce recurrence rates, trauma, and patient treatment cost.

See the following page for details on this interdesciplinary resesarch project.

In September 2011 Dr. Jian Zhang and his wife Weiwei Chu donated a $1000 gift to ARMA lab to support eductaion and reserach activities and to encourage outstanding graduate students who exhibit outstanding academic acheivement during their academic career.

jian zhang graduation

In 2010 Dr. Jian graduated from ARMA earning a Ph.D. degree with destinction. His Ph.D. reserach area focused on the design of steerable electrode arrays and methods of electrode insertion for Cochlear Imnplant Surgery. He has published several journal papers and conference papers in the area and helped strengthen ARMA's lead in medical robotics. He joined Intuitive Surgical in 2010 after his graduation. He is responsible for developing new medical robotics technologies for future ISI products.


Dr. Jian's success and generosity in giving back to ARMA set a wonderful presedence towards supporting the lab activity.

The paper "Trans-Nasal Robotic Micro-Surgery of the Throat: A Cadaveric Feasibility Study" by Andrea Bajo, Latif Dharamsi, John Netterville, Gaelyn Garrett and Nabil Simaan won first runner up award for best oral presentation in the 2013 Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics.

On 5/25/2011 Roger Goldman successfully defended his thesis dissertation titled "Analysis, Algorithms, and Control for Intelligent Surgical Exploration and Intervention". His thorrough reserach won him a unianimous vote for graduation with destinction - an honor that is typically saved for the top 10% of graduate students. Roger is the 4th Ph.D. student to graduate from ARMA with destinction. Congtratulations Roger :-).

Andrea successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in March 2013 and recently accepted a position as System Research Engineer at MAKO Surgical Corp., Fort Lauderdale, FL. MAKO Surgical Corp. focuses on robotic-assisted orthopedics and implants for knee and hip procedures.

ARMA members wish Andrea the best of luck with his future endeavors.

Dr. Wei Wei graduated from ARMA in 2010 is the new president and founder of Huawei Zhongxing Electric - a new company focused on developing robotic solutions for manufacturing. Huawei Welding Machine Won 2nd Award of National Science & Technology Development with aproject titled "Technique and Equipment Development of Hot Wall Hydrogenation Anti-Corrosion Automatic Deposit Welding of Small Pipe Inner Surfaces" and 1st Award of National Science & Technology Development for the project titled "Technique and Equipment Development of Hot Wall Hydrogenation Deposit Welding of Small Pipe Inner Surfaces".

Huawei Zhongxing Electric has also been succesful in entering the automotive industry sector by securing manufacturing contracts with BYD - the Chinese Automobile Manufacturer.


Congratulations Wei on your continued success :-).



ARMA paper titled "Robotic-Assisted Micro Surgery of the Throat: The Trans-Nasal Approach" by Andrea Bajo, Latif Dharamsi, Gaelyn Garrett, James Netterville and Nabil Simaan won finalist for best mediacl robotics paper in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'2013). This award will recognize outstanding work in the area of medical robotics and computer-assisted interventional devices and systems.

Roger Goldman, Andrea Bajo, and Jason pile all had their 3 papers accepted the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation to be held in Shanghai China. ICRA is among the premiere robotics conferences and typically has acceptance rates around 40%. The three accepted papers are:

  1. Pile, J., Simaan, N., "Algorithms and Design Considerations for Robot Assisted Insertion of Perimodiolar Electrode Arrays", 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Shanghai , China, 2011, Accepted
  2. Goldman, R., Bajo, A., Simaan, N., Compliant Motion Control for Continuum Robots with Intrinsic Actuation Sensing", 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Shanghai , China, 2011, Accepted
  3. Bajo, A., Goldman, R., Simaan, N., "Configuration and Joint Feedback for Enhanced Performance of Multi-Segment Continuum Robots", 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Shanghai , China, 2011, Accepted

The A.R.M.A. Lab has five papers at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Karlsruhe, Germany. The papers focus on cochlear implants, micro-surgery of the eye, urology, otolaryngology, and exploration of flexible environments. One of the papers, "Robotic-Assisted Microsurgery of the Throat: the Trans-Nasal Approach" by Bajo, Daharamsi, Netterville, Garrett, and Simaan, is also finalist for best medical robotics paper. This is the second year in a row that one of the A.R.M.A. Laboratory's papers is selected for this prestigious award. Fingers crossed!

Dr. Simaan won the 2010 Benjamins Award with his student Jian Zhang and his collaborators Dr. Spiros Manolidis and Dr. Tom Roland. The Benjamins Award is given by the Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum (CORLAS) and is regarded by many as the most impressive international award by the Otolaryngology society.  Simaan and his research partners won the award for their work on robotic insertions of steerable cochlear implant electrodes.Their work was presented last month at the annual Collegium in Budapest, Hungary.

Andrea Bajo successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation on 3/15/2013. His dissertation titled "Control, Sensing, and Telemanipulation of Surgical Continuum Robots" presents contributions in the areas of contact detection and estimation of contact location for continuum robots, hybrid force/motion control for continuum robots, and constrained telemanipulation of continuum robots. Algorithms developed during his Ph.D. research were implemented on several robotic platfroms including the single port access surgical system (the IREP), a novel robot for trans-urethral bladder tumor resection, and a robot for micro-surgery of the upper airways.

Andrea started his journey with ARMA as a visiting undergraduatre student in summer of 2007. He returned to ARMA as a masters student in 9/2008 and has been with ARMA since then. He has contributed to the development of several robotic systems in the lab and assisted in developing research plans for natural orifice surgery in several application areas including Urology, otolaryngology, and trans-abdominal single port access surgery.

Dr. Simaan organized a whole day workshop on robotics for health-care in collaboration with ME faculty Dr. Webster, Goldfarb, Sarkar, Barth and Dr. Stacy Gardener with the Vanderbilt Program for Talented Youth (PTY). The whole day even was hosted by five mechanical engineering labs (see the participating labs, workshop agenda and pictures HERE). The workshop included 64 high school and middle school participants and their parents. Students and their parents got a hands-on experience with technologies developed for surgical assistance, MRI-compatible robots, rehabilitation devices and robotic orthoses, and human-robot interaction.


ARMA announces two open positions for high school science teachers:

As part of our NSF mandate to disseminate the results of our research we are seeking to interface with two local high school teachers during the summer of 2013. The purpose of the RET supplement is to provide two local science teachers with research experinece and to work with them to define new teaching module within the STEM areas. Note that the application deadline is March 15 2013. The following files provide more details about these positions:

  1. Advertisement (PDF)
  2. Fillable Application form (Word)

The preferred way of returning these forms is by email (fill, sign and scan/attach to the email). Please make sure to use “RET supplement” in your email subject header and also copy .  If you prefer to fax the application form please make sure to indicate that the fax is for Dr. Nabil Simaan since this fax is our departmental fax 615-343-6687.

Sam Bhattacharyya joined A.R.M.A. in the fall semester of 2010. Sam previously worked at A.R.M.A. in 2008 as an undergraduate researcher at Columbia University. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in 2010. He is now a research assistant at A.R.M.A. pursuing his MS/Ph. D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University.

Haoran Yu joined A.R.M.A. in the Fall semester of 2010. Haoran received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University, China. He is a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and pursuing his MS/Ph. D. degree at Vanderbilt University.