Ka-Wai Kwok serves as Associate Professor at Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong (HKU).
Prior to joining HKU in 2014, he obtained the Ph.D. degree from the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Department of Computing, Imperial College London in 2012. Afterwards, in 2013, he was awarded the Croucher Foundation Fellowship, which supported his research jointly supervised by advisors in The University of Georgia, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. His research interests focus on surgical robotics, intra-operative image processing, and their uses of intelligent systems. He has been involved in various designs of surgical robotic devices and interfaces for endoscopy, stereotactic and intra-cardiac catheter interventions. To date, he has co-authored with over 40 clinical fellows and over 80 engineering scientists. Some of his invention patents (>5) have been licensed or transferred from university to his medical device industry in support for their commercialization.
Dr. Kwok’s multidisciplinary work has been recognized by various international conference/journal paper awards (>10), e.g. the Best Conference Paper Award in 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). He also became the recipient of the Early Career Awards 2015/16 offered by Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong, as well as the IROS Toshio Fukuda Young Professional Award in 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), for his contributions to the advancement of MRI-guided robotic systems. Currently, he is the principal investigator of Group for Interventional Robotic and Imaging Systems (IRIS) at HKU.
Online Computational Mechanics – A Wayout for Soft Robotics in Surgical Applications
In recent years, there has been a trend towards integrating soft and deformable structures into surgical robot systems. Target applications include endoscopy or image-guided intervention, where researchers take advantage of soft and flexible robots for their inherent mechanical compliance. However, these soft robotic systems are often controlled with feedback from either large tracking systems, using indirect variables (e.g. pressure in fiber reinforced actuators), or in an open loop, neglecting the fact that actual robot shape and posture are inevitably affected by surrounding. Not only the real-time feedback of soft robot configuration or morphology itself is of importance, but also the robot kinematics and dynamics modelling, as well as its control become an area of interest. To this end, this talk will overview typical soft robot control approaches, and also the recent advances in computational mechanics which potentially resolve the control challenges of providing a safe, precise and effective surgical manipulation.