[robotics-worldwide] NSF/CCC/CRA Roadmapping Workshop for Medical and Healthcare Robotics

Allison Okamura aokamura at jhu.edu
Wed Apr 9 20:30:45 PDT 2008

Call for Participation, 2-page proposals due by April 23, 2008:

NSF / CCC / CRA Roadmapping for Robotics Workshop:
A Research Roadmap for Medical and Healthcare Robotics

Allison Okamura, Johns Hopkins University
Maja Mataric', University of Southern California
Henrik Christensen, Georgia Tech

June 19-20, 2008
Arlington/Washington DC area
(All expenses for approved participants will be covered by CCC)

This one-and-a-half-day NSF/CCC/CRA sponsored workshop will (1)  
identify a focused set of major US research goals for medical and  
healthcare robotics, and (2) develop a roadmap for achieving these  
research goals in the coming decade. The workshop will include US  
leaders in academia, industry, and government. Although the US  
robotics research community is highly diversified, analogous efforts  
in Europe and Japan to reach consensus and develop unified research  
roadmaps for their regions have been extremely successful in creating  
new partnerships and attracting major research funding. Results of  
this workshop will be presented to US government agencies.

This workshop is one of four planned under the project: "From Internet  
to Robotics: The Next Transformative Technology", accepted by the  
Computing Community Consortium (CCC) with the goal of ensuring that  
basic research addresses the key problems that will allow American  
companies to have a leading role in the deployment of future  
generations of robots: http://www.us-robotics.us/


Recent demographic studies suggest that we will go through a period of  
significant population aging over the next 2-3 decades. Japan will see  
a doubling in the number of people over the age of 65, Europe will  
have a 50% increase, and the US will experience a ~40% increase in the  
number of elderly by 2030. The number of people with an age above 80  
will increase by more than 100% across all continents. Advances in  
medicine have increased the life span and this, in combination with  
reduced birthrates, will result in an aging of society in general.  
This demographic trend will have a significant impact on industrial  
production, housing, continued education, and healthcare. Many of  
these aspects could be directly impacted through the use of  
intelligent robotics.

Robotics is already beginning to affect healthcare. Telerobotic  
systems such as the da Vinci surgical system are being used to perform  
surgery, resulting in shorter recovery times and more reliable  
outcomes in some procedures. The use of robotics as part of a computer- 
integrated surgery systems is clearly important for accurate, targeted  
medical interventions. It has been hypothesized that surgery and  
interventional radiology will be transformed through the integration  
of computers and robotics much in the way that manufacturing was  
revolutionized by automation several decades ago. Haptic devices, a  
form of robotics, are also relevant for simulations to train medical  

The potential in rehabilitation is also great. The current rate of new  
strokes is 750,000 per year, and that number is expected to double in  
the next two decades.  Stroke patients must engage in intensive and  
immediate rehabilitation in order to attempt to regain function and  
minimize permanent disability. However, there is already a shortage of  
suitable physical therapists, and the changing demographics indicate a  
yawning gap in care in the near future. Experiments have demonstrated  
that robotic systems can provide therapy oversight, coaching, and  
motivation with little or no supervision by human therapists, and can  
continue long-term therapy in the home after hospitalization.

On the younger side of the age spectrum, the number of  
neurodevelopmental and cognitive disorders is on the rise, including  
autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity  
disorder, and others. Autism rates alone have quadrupled in the last  
quarter century, with one in 150 children diagnosed with the deficit  
today. Socially assistive robots have already been shown to have  
promise as therapeutic tool for children with such disorders, by  
providing a means of communication and social skill training. Socially  
assistive robotics in general has the potential to improve quality of  
life measures for large and growing populations across the age spectrum.

Robotics can also be used to augment and stimulate basic science to  
understand human health. The ability to create a robotic system that  
mimics biology is one way to test and possibly demonstrate that we  
know how the human body and brain function. Robots can also be used to  
acquire data from biological systems with unprecedented accuracy.  
Finally, robots can be used for ideally calibrated behavioral  
experiments aiming to gain insights into both physical and social  
behaviors. These contributions can stimulate the development of new  
treatments for a wide variety of diseases and disorders.


In this highly focused meeting, brainstorming sessions will cover  
robotics for medical and healthcare applications and will identify (a)  
new application areas that will maximize socio-economic impact; (b)  
core competency areas for U.S. research and development; and (c)  
formulation of the roadmap.

Travel, meals, and lodging expenses for up to 30 approved participants  
will be reimbursed by the CCC.

We encourage interested experts from industry, government, and  
academia to submit a short proposal via email by April 23, 2008:

1) Name, affiliation, and contact info
2) 2-3 broad research ideas relevant to the workshop goals outlined  

Proposals must be under 2 pages in plain text or .pdf format.  Please  
put "CCC Research Roadmap Proposal" on the subject line, and email to medical-ws at us-robotics.us 
. Selected applicants will be notified by May 15, 2008.

Due to funding limitations, we can accept only 30 participants. Anyone  
who submits a proposal will receive a copy of the final workshop  
report and info on how they might participate in the CCC robotics  
effort. This workshop is being held as part of a group of CCC robotics  
workshops examining the areas of manufacturing, service, healthcare,  
and emerging topics in robotics.

Allison M. Okamura, Associate Professor
The Johns Hopkins University
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics
125 CSEB, 3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
Tel: 410-516-7266
Fax: 410-516-7254
Email: aokamura at jhu.edu

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