In this episode Ron Vanderkley speaks to Prof. Karol Miller, Director of the Intelligent Systems for Medicine Lab at the University of Western Australia, about medical robotics and how doctors and patients perceive its role and use. Central to his work are mathematical models of soft tissue (brain, liver, etc.) that can be used for robot-assisted surgery by providing fast and accurate feedback. He also discusses the potential and challenges in making surgery fully autonomous. Finally, we hear about how his computational tools could be used to build transformer-like robots that can reassemble to adapt to new tasks.
Karol Miller is a specialist in the area of modelling and computer simulation in biomechanics. He is the Winthrop Professor of Applied Mechanics at the University of Western Australia, the Deputy Head of the School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Director of the Intelligent Systems for Medicine Lab and Director of the Computational Geomechanics Laboratory. His contributions include mathematical models of brain deformation behavior (the world’s most frequently cited) and close-to-real-time finite element and meshless algorithms.