Here are some projects that I've worked on:
Many surgical procedures are severely limited by the surgeon's line of sight. For surgeries deep below the surface tissue, a surgeon must traditionally make guesses or take invasive measures. CT machines provide a live 3D view inside a patient's body. However the restrictive bore and high levels of radiation prevent humans from performing surgeries directly with these machines. This robot performs minimally invasive tumor biopsies on patients inside CT machines. It allows surgeons to have a non-invasive, live 3D view into the patient during complex procedures.
This robot performs the same procedures as the CT-compatible robot, but inside of an MRI machine instead. The benefits of working inside an MRI machine are the lack of radiation exposure to the patient and a faster refresh rate. The MRI presents challenges including a narrow and long bore, and the fact that the robot's ferromagnetic parts must be far from the machine.
Our robot's motors are kept far away from the robot (and MRI machine). We then translate the motor's motion to the robot with water pressure using a system of hydrostatic actuators and hydraulics pioneered by Disney. I have focused on adapting Disney's system to our more precise application.
I plan to have a paper authored on this system by the end of the winter academic quarter.