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    In his lab, Magnus Egerstedt oversees swarms of robots, developing algorithms that allow them to work together. He does nearly the same thing outside his lab.

    As director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM), Egerstedt oversees swarms of researchers. More than 75 from five Georgia Tech colleges and the Georgia Tech Research Institute collaborate on projects that have attracted approximately $32 million in sponsored research. Together, they partner with industry and government to pursue transformative robotics research.

    linked banner - Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines

    From autonomy, to human augmentation, to collaborative robotics, Egerstedt and his interdisciplinary peers also educate the next generation of experts. There are more than 200 students in IRIM.

    Below are three examples of how IRIM is creating the next in robotics.

    Jonathan Rogers is building machines that will change the monotony of agriculture. Jaydev Desai is creating medical robotic devices to aid in surgery and breast cancer diagnoses.

    And then there’s the leader, who doubles these days as an interior designer. Egerstedt, a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is managing a National Science Foundation-funded project that will allow roboticists around the world to run experiments at Georgia Tech — without ever stepping foot on campus.

    It’s called the Robotarium.

    Magnus Egerstedt, director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, outlines IRIM’s strengths, the global future of robotics, and his new project: the robotarium.

    text - Medical Robots for surgery and cancer

    Jaydev P. Desai is on an island. And he’s the sole resident! Among all the faculty members at Georgia Tech, Desai is the only person working in the area of surgical robotics.

    Since coming to the Institute last fall from University of Maryland, College Park, Desai and his team of graduate students and a postdoctoral fellow have been working toward developing patient-specific, 3D-printed robots that are designed to allow physicians to do their jobs better.

    For instance, two of his robots are for brain surgery. Currently, doctors can only operate within their line of sight. Desai’s robots can be lowered into the brain, then sweep side to side or rotate to allow a full 360 degrees of rotation to enable a physician to operate out of the line of sight.

    “By creating better, smarter and smaller patient-specific devices, we hope to decrease downtime in the operating room,” said Desai, a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. “More efficiency means shorter and less expensive hospital stays for patients.”

    Right now, the majority of Desai’s projects are for adults. However since coming to Georgia Tech, he has also pioneered efforts in pediatric robotics, which is very challenging because what works for adult patients must be scaled down significantly to be applicable for kids and teenagers. But with outstanding partners at Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Desai knows he won’t be on his island alone for long.

    Recently, Desai gave a tour of his lab to demonstrate four current projects.

    Jaydev Desai is creating medical robotic devices to better diagnose breast cancer and assist surgeons with brain surgery as well as other areas of minimally invasive surgery. The professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory provides a lab tour of four projects.


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