Jake Abbott, Lab Director
Welcome to the Telerobotics Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah! The Telerobotics Lab is part of the large and diverse Robotics Program at the University of Utah.
In the Telerobotics Lab, we're interested in robotic systems that manipulate remote environments. A primary focus of our work is medical telerobotics. Particularly, we are investigating wireless magnetically controlled microrobots to navigate inside the human body. Rather than acting as autonomous systems, our microrobots act more like end-effectors of novel teleoperation system unlike anything that has ever existed. For decades we have been imagining the day when we could perform minimally invasive medical procedures from inside the body. We're actually getting there!
Many of our system rely on the intelligence of a human operator directly in the control loop. In the Telerobotics Lab, we are interested in designing systems that enable effective human control of our novel teleoperation systems. In addition to human intelligence, some telerobotic system involve the human sense of touch as an integral part of the control loop. This is the branch of robotics research known as haptics. During haptic interaction, the human user exchanges both power and information with the robotic system through touch. Haptic systems can be extremely intuitive to use, but designing haptic systems involves many challenging engineering problems.