CISE Seminar: Allison Okamura, Stanford University

Soft Robots for Humanity

Traditional robotic manipulators are constructed from rigid links and localized joints, which enables large forces and workspaces but creates challenges for safe and comfortable interaction with the human body. In contrast, many soft robots have a volumetric form factor and continuous bending that allows them to mechanically adapt to their environment — but these same mechanical properties can hinder forceful interactions required for physical assistance and feedback to humans. This talk will examine robotic systems and haptic devices that achieve the best of both worlds by leveraging softness and rigidity to enable novel shape control, generate significant interaction forces, and provide a compliant interface to the human body.

Allison Okamura is the Richard W. Weiland Professor of Engineering at Stanford University in the mechanical engineering department, with a courtesy appointment in computer science. She received the BS degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994, and the MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University in 1996 and 2000, respectively, all in mechanical engineering. She is currently Director of Graduate Studies for her department, a Deputy Director of the Wu Tsai Stanford Neurosciences Institute, and PI of the Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine (CHARM) Lab ( Her awards include the 2020 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Technical Achievement Award, 2019 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Service Award, and 2016 Duca Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. She is an IEEE Fellow. Her recent research service includes co-general chair of the 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, editor-in-chief of the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, and associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics. Her academic interests include haptics, teleoperation, virtual environments and simulators, medical robotics, soft robotics, human sensorimotor control and rehabilitation, and education. Outside academia, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, running, and playing ice hockey.

Faculty Host: Sheila Russo

Student Hosts: Andres Chavez Armijos & Arincheyan Gerald

When 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Friday, September 8, 2023
Location 8 Saint Mary’s Street, PHO 203