Jessica Burgner-Kahrs How Can the Characteristics of Continuum Robots Be Optimized for a Specific Medical Application?

Jessica Burgner-Kahrs is Professor at the Leibniz University in Hannover, where she conducts research at the Hannover Centre for Mechatronics leading the Laboratory for Continuum Robotics. Burgner-Kahrs dedicated her doctoral and post-doctoral research to improving the technology used in surgery, e.g. developing a new robotics system for automatic bone cutting or minimally-invasive brain tumor removal. For her innovative research contributions in continuum robotics she was awarded a number of national awards and scholarships, including the Heinz Maier-Leibniz Prize 2015 given to young academics for their outstanding achievements, as well as the Lower Saxony Science Award 2014. Burgner-Kahrs is appointed member of the Young Academy (Junge Akademie), a joint project of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Area of Research

Continuum Robotics

Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, D. Caleb Rucker and Howie Choset. "Continuum Robots for Medical Applications: A Survey." IEEE Transactions on Robotics 31 (2015): 1261-1280.  
Jessica Burgner, D. Caleb Rucker, Hunter B. Gilbert, Philip J. Swaney, Paul T. Russell, Kyle D. Weaver and Robert J. Webster. "A Telerobotic System for Transnasal Surgery." IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics 19 (2014): 996-1006.  
Jessica Burgner, Philip J. Swaney, Ray A. Lathrop, Kyle D. Weaver and Robert J. Webster. "Debulking from Within: A Robotic Steerable Cannula for Intracerebral Hemorrhage Evacuation." IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 60 (2013): 2567-2575.  
Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, Hunter B Gilbert, Josephine Granna, Philip J Swaney and Robert J Webster III. "Workspace Characterization for Concentric Tube Continuum Robots." Unpublished. 2014.  
Jessica Burgner, Hunter B Gilbert and Robert J Webster. "On the Computational Fesign of Concentric Tube Robots: Incorporating Volume-based Objectives." Unpublished. 2013.  

since 2015

Associate Professor

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (more details)

Laboratory for Continuum Robotics

2013-2015

Head of Emmy Noether Research Group

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (more details)

Laboratory for Continuum Robotics

2013

Executive Director

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (more details)

Center for Mechatronics

2012-2013

Research Fellow

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (more details)

Center of Mechatronics

2010-2012

Research Associate

Vanderbilt University

Department of Mechanical Engineering

2006-2010

Research Assistant

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)

Department of Informatics

2002-2006

Student Research Assistant

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)

Department of Informatics

2010

PhD

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)

Department of Informatics

2000-2006

Diploma in Computer Science

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)

Department of Informatics

Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (since 2016)

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering

IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, Soft Robotics, Neural Processing Letters

IEEE Transactions on Robotics

International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery

International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery

ACM - Association for Computing Machinery

CURAC - German Society for Computer and Robot Assisted Surgery

DGBMT - German Association of Biomedical Engineering within VDE

DHV - Germany Association of University Professors and Lecturers

GI - German Informatics Society

IEEE RAS - Robotics and Automation Society

IEEE RAS WiE - Robotics and Automation Society: Women in Engineering

Prizes

Elected Member of the Junge Akademie, Joint project of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2016)

Young Researcher of the Year, Academics Career Portal for Research and Science of ZEIT and the German Association of University Professors and Lecturer (2015)

Lower Saxony Science Award, Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (2015)

Young Elite - Top 40 under 40, Category: State and Society (2015)

Category: State and Society, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (2015)

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, German Research Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2015)

Finalist Best Application Paper Award, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (2014)

Finalist Best Medical Robotics Paper Award, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2013)

Emmy Noether Programme, German Research Foundation (DFG) (2013)

Best Technical Paper Presentation Award, 10th International Conference on Computer Assisted Orthopedic Surgery (2010)

Best Poster Presentation Award, runner-up, 6th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Computer and Robot-assisted Surgery (2007)

Fellowships

Research Fellowship, Support Program: Returning German Scientists from Abroad, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (2012)

Travel Scholarship, Annual Meeting of the German Society for Computer and Robot-assisted Surgery (2012)

International Foundation Neurobionics, Robot assisted neursurgical interstitial thermal tumor ablation (RoboNIT) (2016)

National Institutes of Health (NIH), Debulking from Within: A Steerable Needle for Intracerebral Hemorrhage Aspiration (2014)-2016

Emmy Noether Research Programme - Continuum Robots for Surgical Systems (2013-2018)

DAAD Research Fellowship, German Academic Exchange Service Support Program: Returning German Scientists from Abroad (2012-2013)

© Referat für Kommunikation und Marketing/Leibniz Universität Hannover

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover


In 1831, founded by the scholar Karl Karmarsch, the “Higher Trade School of Hannover” started with only 64 students. Today there are more than 28,000 students in the natural sciences and engineering, the humanities and social sciences as well as in law and economics.
In the future, too, studying, teaching and research are to be enjoyable, and therefore one of the declared goals of Leibniz Universität Hannover is to continually improve the quality of teaching and research. (Source: Leibniz Universität Hannover)

Department

Laboratory for Continuum Robotics

The research focus lies on continuum robotics. In comparison to traditional robots, continuum robots are not composed of rigid links and discrete joints but characterized by a flexible and compliant backbone structure inspired by nature from elephant trunks, snakes, and tentacles. Thus, continuum robots achieve high dexterity and manipulability. In contrast to serial kinematic chains, the continuous structure allows for miniaturization such that continuum robots have high potential for mesoscopic and microscopic applications.

One of the research areas is the smallest continuum robot: a tubular robot (a.k.a. concentric tube robot). By axial rotation and translation of concentric, elastic tubes made of a shape memory alloy, continuum robots with a diameter comparable to those of medical needles can be realized. (Source: LKR)

Map

The use of continuum robots – robots that are not composed of rigid links and joints but are continuously bending structures – opens up completely new possibilities for surgery: With this tool surgeons can reach locations in the human body which they would not be able to reach with traditional surgical instruments. This enables them to e.g. remove brain tumors in a minimally invasive way. There are a vast number of parameters to be selected when designing these structures, like diameter, tube thickness, and material. JESSICA BURGNER-KAHRS explains that the ideal combination depends not only on the application but also on patient characteristics. In this video, she describes how the research team tackled the challenge of selecting the right robot design by developing an optimization algorithm that makes use of evolutionary concepts from biology. Testing their simulation results in the laboratory proved that the optimization works well, but also revealed a number of open questions.

LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10324

Task-specific Design of Tubular Continuum Robots for Surgical Applications

  • Jessica Burgner-Kahrs
  • Soft Robotics
  • Published in 2015

Chicago

Jessica Burgner-Kahrs. "Task-specific Design of Tubular Continuum Robots for Surgical Applications." In Soft Robotics Springer, 2015: 222-230.