RAS Boston Chapter talk @ WPI Seaport
Combining robotics and machine intelligence to enable advanced treatment modalities in the head and neck
Speaker: Prof. Loris Fichera
Meeting Location: WPI Seaport, Main Lounge Area, 303 Congress Street FL 1, Boston, MA 02210
Today’s surgical robots enable physicians to perform minimally invasive procedures in regions of the human body that historically required large incisions to access the operating field. However, these robots were not conceived to be used in the head and neck, and their kinematic design makes it challenging to use them in ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) procedures. This talk will describe recent advances in medical robots for ENT applications, and will give an overview of how recent development in robotics and AI can be used to either enhance existing surgical procedures or enable new ones that were not possible until now. Specific examples covered in the talk include transoral laser microsurgery and trans-nasal ear endoscopy. Loris Fichera is an Assistant Professor of Robotics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). His research interests are in medical robotics and computer-assisted surgery, with particular focus on ENT applications. Prior to joining WPI, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville TN, where he conducted research in image-guided ear surgery. He received a PhD in Robotics, Cognition and Interaction Technologies from the University of Genoa/Italian Institute of Technology in 2015. His dissertation focused on novel methods to predict and control laser-tissue interactions in robotic laser microsurgery. Dr. Fichera was the recipient of the 2016 Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Computer-Aided Surgery (ISCAS). He was best paper and best medical robotics paper award finalist at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in 2015. In 2019, he received the Rho Beta Epsilon award for Excellence in Robotics Education.