Public Lecture | Rethinking Robotics: Worms, tongues and elephant trunks

Dr. Jessica Burgner-Kahrs

Dr. Jessica Burgner-Kahrs is Associate Professor and Director of the Continuum Robotics Laboratory at UTM. Photo credit: Chen Gong.

Join U of T alumni and friends for a lecture on biology-inspired continuum robots and their role in minimally invasive surgeries.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020
6:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Le Dome Banquet Hall
1173 North Service Road East
Oakville, ON (View Map)

Cost: Free

Robotics. The word conjures up so many images: industrial mechanical arms; Roomba vacuums; Star Wars droids; drones; and humanoids. But continuum robotics is vastly different from conventional robots and from the ideas created by the world of entertainment and science fiction. Inspired by biological trunks (e.g. elephant), tentacles, tongues and worms, continuum robots (or invertebrate robots) have a joint-less body which is continuous and exhibits a flowing, curved and flexible structure. In her presentation, Dr. Burgner-Kahrs will provide an overview of continuum robot designs and touch upon the research advancements and challenges in modelling, planning and controlling motion. She’ll also discuss their application in performing minimally invasive surgeries that cannot be done with conventional surgical tools. With their complex bending motions and skillful manipulation of even the smallest spaces, think about what continuum robots can do that is not possible with serial robot arms, mobile robots or humanoids!

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