In the face of aging demographics and airborne spread illnesses, the development of robotics for close-contact healthcare tasks is of paramount important looking towards the future. In this talk, I will discuss my research towards using a standard collaborative robot arm to safely execute the nasopharyngeal swab test, a common diagnostic for detecting various types of respiratory illnesses. There are three major components to this research. The first involves the derivation of an optimization problem to find the best path to insert the swab along through the nasal cavity. Second, a visual servo system is designed that actuates a robotic arm to place the swab next to the nostril with the correct position and orientation. Third a compliant control system is formulated and implemented to insert the swab and collect samples from the nasopharynx, while regulating measured forces applied to the swab to ensure the robot is stable and responsive.  I will also discuss experiments featuring both human trials and trials with a realistic nasal cavity phantom that validate the proposed methods.


Peter Q. Lee, PhD candidate in Systems Design Engineering

Attending this seminar will count towards the graduate student seminar attendance milestone!