Larry Bencivengo featured by Mercer Island School District

One of the teachers who worked in BRL last summer through the CSNE Research Experience for Teachers, Larry Bencivengo, was recently featured by the Mercer Island School District for his work in developing an artificial neural network curriculum.  Larry and fellow teacher Paul Zimmer worked on haptics in addition to their curriculums.  Larry also received a grant through the Partners in Science program and will spend the next two summers doing research with the departments of medicine and ophthalmology (read more about that here).  Congrats, Larry!

Volitional DBS control featured in Medtronic video


Medtronic has released a video featuring the work of Jeffrey Herron, Dr Howard Chizeck, and neurosurgeon collaborator Dr Andrew Ko.  Their new deep brain stimulation hardware can sense neural signals as well as stimulate.  Jeffrey has used their system to modulate stimulation and lay the groundwork for further volitional control.  Read the article here and watch the video below.

Two awards for Sam Burden!

_sburdensqCongratulations to BRL and EE Assistant Professor Sam Burden on receiving two funding awards!  He received a two-year award from the Research Initiation Initiative Award from the NSF Cyber-Physical Systems Program in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate.  This is in support of his work on safety in human and robot interactions.  Read more about it here.

He also received a three-year Young Investigator Program Award from the Army Research Office, one of the highest awards from the Army.  This is in support of his research into legged robot locomotion.  Read more about it here.

Again, congrats Sam!

Welcome spring quarter 2016!

Spring break has ended and we’re ready for another busy quarter here at BRL.  We’d like to recognize the accomplishments of our students over winter quarter:

  • Maggie Thompson and our collaborators had a paper accepted for the 6th International Brain Computer Interface meeting
    • M. Thompson,  J. Herron, A. Ko, and H. Chizeck. (2016). Demonstration of a Chronic Brain-Computer Interface using a Deep Brain Stimulator. In: 6th International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting.
  • Bora Banjanin presented his work on estimating predictive dynamic models of legged locomotion from data at a conference and a workshop:
    • B. Banjanin, S. Burden, T. Moore, S. Revzen, and R. Full.  “Estimating predictive dynamical models of legged locomotion from
      data,” Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Portland, Oregon, Jan 5, 2016.
    • B. Banjanin.  “Estimating predictive dynamical models of legged locomotion from data,” Fifth Annual Winter Workshop on Neuromechanics and Dynamics of Locomotion, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan 21-22, 2016.
  • We had three papers accepted to the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation:
    • Yangming Li*, Muneaki Miyasaka, Mohammad Haghighipanah, Blake Hannaford
      Dynamic Modeling of Cable Driven Elongated Surgical Instruments for Sensorless Grip Force Estimation
    • Mohammad Haghighipanah*, Muneaki Miyasaka, Yangming Li, Blake Hannaford
      Unscented Kalman Filter and 3D Vision to Improve Cable Driven Surgical Robot Joint Angle Estimation
    • Muneaki Miyasaka*, Mohammad Haghighipanah, Blake Hannaford
      Hysteresis Model of Longitudinally Loaded Cable for Cable Driven Robots and Identification of the Parameters

Congratulations to all of our accepted authors and presenters!

BRL volunteers with Hour of Code

IMG_9411On Sunday, BRL lab members Andrew Pace and Katherine Pratt volunteered at the Museum of Flight with an afternoon of technology and Hour of Code. Over a dozen mostly female students from 2nd, 4th, and 6th-8th grader rotated through four stations: Star Wars, Minecraft, littleBits, and offline coding. Students learned to program using Java and drag-and-drop. Afterward, they watched a video of the recent successful Blue Origin launch and landing, and were able to ask questions with one of their engineers. It was a fun, enjoyable, and most importantly educational afternoon.

IMG_9413Hour of Code is an annual program run by Code.Org, a non-profit based in Seattle that aims to increase exposure and involvement with computer science especially with females and underrepresented minorities.

BRL Graduate Student Timothy Brown Wins CSNE Hackathon

Last weekend, BRL graduate student Tim Brown competed in the NSF Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering‘s second-annual Hackathon. In this competition, fifteen students gathered from the University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, San Diego State University, and Spelman College. The contestants formed teams of three; these teams were given 36 hours to develop an innovative technology that addresses some problem related to sensorimotor neural engineering. Tim and his teammates—Rin Yunis from MIT and Jaycee Holmes from Spelman—were awarded first place! Congratulations!

Click here to read more about the competition.




BRL graduate student Katherine Pratt wins CSNE Perfect Pitch Competition!

Last Friday, BRL-affiliated graduate students Katherine Pratt and Tim Brown competed in the NSF Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering Perfect Pitch competition. The competition challenges students to condense their research into a 90 second elevator pitch that succinctly conveys the goals and value of their work. Each pitch is then judged by a panel of CSNE-affiliated industry members and entrepreneurs on both the merit of the work and the presentation sytle. When the final results were tallied, Katherine was awarded with first place in the competition! A video of her pitch is included below. Congratulations Katherine!

Museum of Flight Amelia’s Aero Club visits the BRL

Amelia’s Aero ClubAmeliaAero is a middle school program for highly-motivated 6th-8th grade girls who are from across Washington State. The program organizes events related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Aviation, Art, and Mathematics (STEA2M) and the legacy of Amelia Earhart. This year it included a visit to the BioRobotics lab where they interacted with a haptic simulation and teleoperated a surgical robot during their visit.