IEEE Winnipeg Section


UofM ECE Department Seminar



Haptics, Robotics and Medical Simulationp>


Friday, February 18, 2010 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Coffee and light refreshments are served in E2-361 from 1:30 P.M.


E3-262 EITC Building (Senate Chambers), University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus


Dr. Bertram Unger
Department of Medical Education
University of Manitoba


This talk will describe my past research in haptic and tele-robotic systems. It will also provide detail about ongoing efforts to use engineering technology to solve problems in medical
simulation and education.

Haptic systems provide users with the ability to touch virtual and remote environments using computercontrolled mechanical systems. The first part of this talk will describe one such system, developed at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, which uses a magnetic levitation to control a 6 DOF force-feedback joystick. The system is used to simulate artificial textured surface and to investigate how humans perceive these surfaces. It is also used as a master for an 18 DOF coarse-fine teleoperation system with bilateral force-feedback. The talk will describe the hardware and software development of these systems as well as relevant findings in the psychophysics of texture perception.

The second part of the talk will focus on ongoing research efforts at the Faculty of Medicine in the area of medical simulation. These efforts include projects such as incorporating haptic simulation into mixed-reality environments, the measurements of real-time forces and positions during laryngoscopy and laparoscopic surgery, and the application of findings in the field of virtual reality to high fidelity medical simulation.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Bertram Unger received his Bachelor of Science and Medical Degrees in 1990 from the University of Manitoba. Upon graduation, he practised Critical Care Medicine at St. Boniface Hospital while studying Computer Engineering at the University of Manitoba, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering in 1998. In 1999, he moved to Pittsburgh to study haptics at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. He completed his doctorate on the Psychophysics of Virtual Haptic Textures in 2008, going on to a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Faculty of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Unger is currently Assistant Professor in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine and Research Director of its Clinical Simulation and Learning Facility. He holds an adjunct appointment in the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is a member of the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Canadian and Manitoba Medical Associations, the International Electronic and Electrical Engineers and the International Society for Simulation in Healthcare. He currently practices clinical practice with the section of Critical Care Medicine in the University’s Department of Internal Medicine.


This will be a free event.


For questions or more information: Jun Cai 474-6419

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