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Fall 2009 GRASP Seminar: Greg Hager, Johns Hopkins University, “Modeling, Evaluating and Teaching Skilled Dexterity: Toward a “Language of Surgery””

November 6, 2009 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: With the rapidly growing popularity of the Intuitive Surgical da
Vinci system, robotic minimally invasive surgery (RMIS) has crossed
the threshold from the laboratory to the real world. As a consequence,
there is now an emerging interest in methods for evaluating and
teaching RMIS surgical technique.  Our group has been developing
statistical methods for modeling RMIS using techniques borrowed from
speech and language. We consider surgery to be composed of a set of
identifiable tasks which themselves are composed of a small set of
reusable motion units that we call “surgemes.” We thus speak of a “Language of Surgery.”

In this talk, I will describe our progress at developing techniques
for recognizing surgemes in continuous motion recorded during benchtop
models of RMIS tasks. We have demonstrated that it is possible to
recognize surgemes reliably in a diverse corpus of user motion and
video data. Further, we have begun to develop methods for comparing
the performances of subjects to evaluate skill at both the task and
surgeme level. In particular, we now have strong evidence suggesting
that a simple notion of string distance on the output of a language
model is a natural way of measuring similarity in the space of
surgical skill. These models lead naturally to a set of methods for
effective training of RMIS using automatically learned models of
expertise, and toward methods for automating component actions in


- Learn More

Gregory D. Hager is a Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins
University. He received the BA degree, summa cum laude, in computer
science and mathematics from Luther College in 1983, and the MS and
PhD degrees in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania in
1985 and 1988, respectively. From 1988 to 1990, he was a Fulbright
junior research fellow at the University of Karlsruhe and the
Fraunhofer Institute IITB in Karlsruhe, Germany. From 1991 until 1999,
he was with the Computer Science Department at Yale University. In
1999, he joined the Computer Science Department at Johns Hopkins
University, where he is also the Deputy Director of the Center for
Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology. Professor Hager
has authored more than 180 research articles and books in the area of
robotics and computer vision. His current research interests include
visual tracking, vision-based control, medical applications of vision
and robotics, and human-computer interaction. In 2006, he was elected
a fellow of the IEEE for his contributions in Vision-Based Robotics.


November 6, 2009
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: