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Women in HCI Lecture: Katherine Kuchenbecker,
April 14, 2011 at 1:00pm, Howe Hall Auditorium

Title Haptics: Touch Feedback for Robotic Surgery, Tablet Computers, and More

Archive of April 14th presentation


Katherine Kuchenbecker - Women in HCI Speaker for April 14, 2011

Title Haptics: Touch Feedback for Robotic Surgery, Tablet Computers, and More

Abstract When you perform real tasks like riding a bicycle or cooking a meal, you receive rich visual, auditory, and touch cues that enable you to carefully control your influence on the world around you. Technology now exists that can enable you to interact with environments that are outside of your immediate reach (the deep sea or a patient's internal organs) or completely virtual (a computer game or the three-dimensional design for a new product). Unfortunately, these high-tech systems often don't provide the same rich set of sensory stimuli that are available in the real world. Haptic (touch-based) feedback is a particularly exciting and under-utilized channel of communication that is poised to have a significant impact on everything from medical training to tablet computing, immersive gaming, and more. This presentation will provide a concise overview of haptic technology and then go into depth on three of the research projects currently underway in the Penn Haptics Lab: data -driven haptic virtual textures, naturalistic vibrotactile feedback for robotic surgery, and tactile cues for human motion guidance.

Bio Katherine J. Kuchenbecker is the Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research centers on the design and control of haptic interfaces for applications such as robot-assisted surgery, medical simulation, stroke rehabilitation, and personal computing. She directs the Penn Haptics Group, which is part of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory. She has won several awards for her research, including an NSF CAREER Award in 2009, Best Hands-On Demonstration at the 2009 IEEE World Haptics Conference, and inclusion in the Popular Science Brilliant 10 in 2010. Dr. Kuchenbecker serves on the program committee for the IEEE Haptics Symposium, and she is an Associate Editor for the IEEE World Haptics Conference and the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Prior to becoming a professor, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the J ohns Hopkins University, and she earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 2006.