2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

When AR Meets the OR: Robotics & AR in Surgery

#sxsw #ieeeARinOR


As humans live longer and the global population ages and expands to 10 billion people, the world will face an unprecedented healthcare crisis. In this session, you’ll discover how robot and augmented reality assisted therapies and procedures can help address our mounting needs. We’ll trace robotics and AR in medicine from their origins to the Operating Room – at home and abroad. We'll explore technologies and companies at the forefront of surgical robotics and virtual surgery, providing real world examples that address outcomes and quality of care. We'll take a look at how advancements in telecommunications, robotics and augmented reality are enabling remote observation, diagnosis and skilled consultation. We'll also discuss the wider impacts of these disruptive, yet enabling, technologies from the perspectives of privacy, training, cost, and risk. Part of the IEEE Technology for Humanity series.



Allison Okamura

Assoc ProfessorNon-Profit


Allison M. Okamura received the BS degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994, and the MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University in 1996 and 2000, respectively, all in mechanical engineering. She is currently Associate Professor in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University. She was previously Professor and Vice Chair of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Her awards include the 2009 IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics Early Career Award, the 2005 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award, and the 2004 NSF CAREER Award. She is an IEEE Fellow. Her academic interests include haptics, teleoperation, virtual environments and simulators, medical robotics, neuromechanics and rehabilitation, prosthetics, and engineering education. Outside academia, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, running, and playing ice hockey.


Catherine Mohr

Sr Dir, Medical Research

Intuitive Surgical

Dr. Catherine Mohr is the Senior Director of Medical Research at Intuitive Surgical, a high technology surgical robotics company that makes the da Vinci Surgical System. In this role she evaluates new technologies for incorporation into the next generation of computer aided surgical platforms. In addition, she is a Consulting Assistant Professor in the department of Surgery at Stanford School of Medicine, and Faculty at Singularity University based at NASA Ames which studies the impact of exponentially changing technologies on our society.

Dr. Mohr received her BS and MS in mechanical engineering from MIT, and her MD from Stanford University School of Medicine. She has been involved with numerous startup companies in the areas of alternative energy transportation, and worked for many years developing high altitude aircraft and high efficiency fuel cell power systems, computer aided design software, and medical devices.

Dr Mohr has served as a scientific advisor for several startup companies in Silicon Valley, the NCI SBIR program, and government technology development programs in her native New Zealand. She is the author of numerous scientific publications, and the recipient of multiple design awards.


Katherine Kuchenbecker

Assoc Professor in Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics

University of Pennsylvania

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania. She is undergraduate curriculum chair in her department, has a secondary appointment in Computer and Information Science, and is a member of the Bioengineering Graduate Group. Her research centers on the design and control of haptic interfaces for applications such as robot-assisted surgery, medical simulation, stroke rehabilitation, and personal computing. She directs the Penn Haptics Group, which is part of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory. She has won several awards for her research, including an NSF CAREER Award in 2009, Popular Science Brilliant 10 in 2010, PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow in 2011, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Academic Early Career Award in 2012, and several best paper and best demonstration awards at technical conferences. Prior to becoming a professor, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University, and she earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 2006.

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