Skip to main content

Blake Hannaford

  • Professor

Appointments

Professor, Electrical Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering
Adjunct Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Surgery
Director, Biorobotics Laboratory

Biography

Before graduate study, Blake Hannaford held engineering positions in digital hardware and software design, office automation and medical image processing. At Berkeley he pursued thesis research in multiple target tracking in medical images and the control of time-optimal voluntary human movement. From 1986 to 1989 he worked on the remote control of robot manipulators in the Man-Machine Systems Group in the Automated Systems Section of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech. He supervised that group from 1988 to 1989. Since September 1989, he has been at the University of Washington in Seattle except for work at Google Life Sciences from 2014-15. He was awarded the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Early Career Achievement Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Hannaford’s currently active interests include haptic displays on the internet, surgical biomechanics and biologically based design of robot manipulators. He co-founded a spinout company, Applied Dexterity, in 2013.

Research Interests

Control theory, biorobotics, telerobotic surgery, functional electrical stimulation, neural system control and haptic rendering.

4uweeViewNews Object
(
    [_showAnnouncements:protected] => 
    [_showTitle:protected] => 
    [showMore] => 
    [_type:protected] => spotlight
    [_from:protected] => person
    [_args:protected] => Array
        (
            [post_type] => spotlight
            [date_query] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [after] => Array
                                (
                                    [year] => 2015
                                    [month] => 6
                                    [day] => 23
                                )

                        )

                )

            [meta_query] => Array
                (
                    [relation] => AND
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [key] => type
                            [value] => news
                            [compare] => LIKE
                        )

                    [1] => Array
                        (
                            [key] => subjects
                            [value] => "848"
                            [compare] => LIKE
                        )

                )

            [posts_per_page] => 6
            [post_status] => publish
        )

    [_jids:protected] => 
    [_taxa:protected] => Array
        (
        )

    [_meta:protected] => Array
        (
            [0] => Array
                (
                    [key] => type
                    [value] => news
                    [compare] => LIKE
                )

            [1] => Array
                (
                    [key] => subjects
                    [value] => "848"
                    [compare] => LIKE
                )

        )

    [_metarelation:protected] => AND
    [_results:protected] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 9978
                    [post_author] => 12
                    [post_date] => 2017-02-22 15:39:06
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-22 23:39:06
                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_6828" align="alignleft" width="184"]Blake Hannaford Professor Blake Hannaford[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2315" align="alignleft" width="185"]Eric Klavins Professor Eric Klavins[/caption]

UW EE Professors Blake Hannaford and Eric Klavins have joined a community of innovators – The Amazon Catalyst Fellows. In a partnership with the University of Washington, Amazon Catalyst supports bold solutions to world problems.

Professor Blake Hannaford and his team at the UW BioRobotics Lab received the fellowship for the development of an Intelligent Robotic Assistant. The robot will offer precise and responsive assistance with important tasks in the operating room. It will be trained to the exact preferences of each surgeon, reducing errors and variability in precise and potentially dangerous operations such as brain tumor removal.

The technology will be derived from Amazon’s Alexa and similar responsive speech recognition devices, as well as learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud. The learning-based AI will be used to analyze patterns in surgical outcomes from detailed logs of the operations.

Professor Eric Klavins became a fellow for his UW BIOFAB Cloud Laboratory for Genetic Engineering (UW BIOFAB), which allows users to define experimental workflows algorithmically, attach upstream design tools and send data to downstream analysis software. This process solves the issue of losing important experimental workflow and training data. With lost data of this type, many experiments cannot be reproduced, extended or transferred because the knowledge of how to do them has not been recorded in detail; this is especially problematic with synthetic biology.

UW BIOFAB offers a lab in the cloud service. The key innovation is the use of researchers to perform many of the steps in the workflows. It is based on Klavins’ software, Aquarium, which will run it.

Both Hannaford’s and Klavins’ projects have the potential to improve existing world challenges. By developing a robotic assistant, with the aptitude for precision and exact replication, the medical field can increase surgical accuracy during procedures, further expand trainings for medical personnel and improve knowledge on the potential for adverse and successful outcomes. UW BIOFAB empowers confident research, maintaining important steps and data for accurate experimental replication and design. By eliminating missteps and errors in workflow, biologists’ experiments will be strengthened, increasing the potential for health treatments and therapies.
                    [post_title] => Professors Blake Hannaford and Eric Klavins Named Amazon Catalyst Fellows
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => professors-eric-klavins-and-blake-hannaford-named-amazon-catalyst-fellows
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2017-02-22 16:05:03
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-23 00:05:03
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=9978
                    [menu_order] => 46
                    [post_type] => spotlight
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [1] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 5181
                    [post_author] => 15
                    [post_date] => 2016-07-15 20:31:21
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-15 20:31:21
                    [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-07-14at3.04.06PMIt began as a surgical device for the military, one that could fit in an armored vehicle in the combat zone. However, the robot – named Raven II – became a strong platform for advancing the software, the control, and network security for medical robotics. Motherboard visited the BioRobotics Lab at the University of Washington, illustrating what happens when you hack a surgical robot.

In the video, the online magazine speaks with electrical engineering professors, Dr. Howard Chizeck and Dr. Blake Hannaford, and researcher, Dr. Tamara Bonaci at the University of Washington. The opportunities in using a remote robotic machine are numerous; the most beneficial is that you can send a robot into dire conditions.

“There are many places you do not want to send humans – underwater, a biohazard area, through high temperature, firefighting, toxic areas, radioactivity, mining and space,” said Professor Chizeck. “If you’re sending a robot, but you still want to have control, you have a communication link. However, there’s the potential that the link can be compromised, so you want to keep that safe and secure.”

Because the distance between the robot operator and device is often extensive, there is an increased chance of interception. In order to keep the robot safe and secure, researchers in the lab must think like attackers - they become the hackers.

“My job is to try and hack the robot,” Dr. Bonaci said. “From this, we can see what safety measures need to be done.”

One hack called the “man in the middle attack” tricks the robot into thinking that it is talking to the surgeon, when, in reality, it is speaking with an attacker. A hacker interrupts the signal and controls the motion of the device, leading to a potentially fatal situation.

According to Professor Chizeck, these types of attacks have already been demonstrated in the operations of other medical devices, like pacemakers and insulin packs. Allowing hackers to penetrate the precarious, delicate movements of a surgeon is not only deadly, but also hard to detect, a “subtle assassination” with a minimal crime trail.

Before releasing Raven II to human operations, researchers will investigate all ways to intercept the device, finding the vulnerabilities before giving the hackers a chance to look for them.
                    [post_title] => Professors Hack Surgical Robot in Motherboard Special
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => ee-professors-hack-surgical-robot-in-motherboard-special
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2017-03-07 15:03:53
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-07 23:03:53
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5181
                    [menu_order] => 101
                    [post_type] => spotlight
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [2] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 5109
                    [post_author] => 15
                    [post_date] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36
                    [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-06-28at4.36.33PMElectrical Engineering Professor Blake Hannaford, an IEEE fellow and founder of the University of Washington’s BioRobotics Laboratory, is working on a robot that will aid surgeons during delicate, critical procedures. The device has the potential to increase the success rates of surgeries.

The device – called Raven – is a semi-autonomous surgical robot that provides additional support to surgeons, delivering greater dexterity and accuracy for precarious procedures.

According to researchers at John Hopkins, 250,000 patients die due to medical errors each year. In fact, these errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In order to mitigate these incidences and save lives, Hannaford and his team developed Raven through using special algorithms termed “behavior trees.”

"Our team has discovered that using AI algorithms called 'behavior trees,' built for opponents in certain video games translates well as a modeling language for automated medical procedures," Hannaford said. "The AI behavior trees have direct applications to programming the semi-autonomous Raven surgical robot, which will provide millions of patients with cutting edge care through greater precision and minimal invasiveness."

Raven has already had a test run in the mainstream media, by appearing in the NBC drama, Heartbeat. It has visited and been tested at NASA. Although it has experienced some high-profile uses, it is still being tested for its main purpose – real-life surgeries.

See Hannaford and his team of researchers demo Raven on Thursday, June 30 through a Facebook Live event. The event will be hosted on IEEE’s Facebook page.
                    [post_title] => Prof. Hannaford Develops Device to Improve Surgeries, Save Lives
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => prof-hannaford-develops-device-to-improve-surgeries-save-lives
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5109
                    [menu_order] => 110
                    [post_type] => spotlight
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [3] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 1407
                    [post_author] => 15
                    [post_date] => 2015-12-11 00:58:54
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-12-11 00:58:54
                    [post_content] => 
Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Smith_Joshua__1457646140_128.95.215.177 Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Joshua Smith Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
To support the development of implantable devices that can restore movement, and improve the overall quality of life, for people with spinal cord injury or stroke, UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) has received $16 million in funding from the National Science Foundation. The funding, dispersed during the next four years, will allow researchers to continue their cutting-edge work, with the goal of having proof-of-concept demonstrations in humans within the next five years. Based at the UW, the CSNE is directed by EE Adjunct Faculty member Rajesh Rao, who is a UW professor of computer science and engineering. Founded in 2011, the CSNE is one of 17 Engineering Research Centers funded by the National Science Foundation. Core partners are located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and San Diego State University. A prime example of cross-campus collaboration, research is being undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team including several UW EE faculty members: Howard Chizeck, Blake Hannaford, Matt Reynolds, Chris Rudell, Visvesh Sathe and Joshua Smith. “UW is extremely fortunate to have visionary leaders in Director Rajesh Rao and Deputy Director Chet Moritz, who are spearheading the cutting edge research at CSNE,” said EE Chair Radha Poovendran. “Under their leadership, the CSNE is growing to be a place where fundamental and translation research for the benefit of society are fostered.” To restore sensorimotor function and neurorehabilitation, CSNE researchers are working to build closed-loop co-adaptive bi-directional brain-computer interfaces that can both record from and stimulate the central nervous system. The devices essentially form a bridge between lost brain connections, achieved by decoding brain signals produced when a person decides they would like to move their arm and grasp a cup. Specific parts of the spinal cord are then stimulated to achieve the desired action. By wirelessly transmitting information, damaged areas of the brain are avoided. Researchers are also working to improve current devices on the market, such as deep brain stimulators that are used to treat Parkinson’s disease. A challenge with current systems is that they are constantly “on” and may provide stimulation to patients when not needed, resulting in unintended side effects as well as reduced battery life. CSNE researchers are working to make these systems "closed-loop," turning them on only when the patient intends to move. See Also: Seattle Times Article UW Today Article [post_title] => CSNE Receives $16 Million to Continue Developing Implantable Devices to Treat Paralysis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => csne-receives-16-million-to-continue-developing-implantable-devices-to-treat-paralysis [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-16 15:41:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-16 23:41:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=1407 [menu_order] => 885 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [_numposts:protected] => 6 [_rendered:protected] => 1 [_classes:protected] => Array ( [0] => block--spotlight-tiles ) [_finalHTML:protected] => [_postID:protected] => 848 [_errors:protected] => Array ( ) [_block:protected] => [_db:protected] => WP_Query Object ( [query] => Array ( [post_type] => spotlight [date_query] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [after] => Array ( [year] => 2015 [month] => 6 [day] => 23 ) ) ) [meta_query] => Array ( [relation] => AND [0] => Array ( [key] => type [value] => news [compare] => LIKE ) [1] => Array ( [key] => subjects [value] => "848" [compare] => LIKE ) ) [posts_per_page] => 6 [post_status] => publish ) [query_vars] => Array ( [post_type] => spotlight [date_query] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [after] => Array ( [year] => 2015 [month] => 6 [day] => 23 ) ) ) [meta_query] => Array ( [relation] => AND [0] => Array ( [key] => type [value] => news [compare] => LIKE ) [1] => Array ( [key] => subjects [value] => "848" [compare] => LIKE ) ) [posts_per_page] => 6 [post_status] => publish [error] => [m] => [p] => 0 [post_parent] => [subpost] => [subpost_id] => [attachment] => [attachment_id] => 0 [name] => [static] => [pagename] => [page_id] => 0 [second] => [minute] => [hour] => [day] => 0 [monthnum] => 0 [year] => 0 [w] => 0 [category_name] => [tag] => [cat] => [tag_id] => [author] => [author_name] => [feed] => [tb] => [paged] => 0 [meta_key] => [meta_value] => [preview] => [s] => [sentence] => [title] => [fields] => [menu_order] => [embed] => [category__in] => Array ( ) [category__not_in] => Array ( ) [category__and] => Array ( ) [post__in] => Array ( ) [post__not_in] => Array ( ) [post_name__in] => Array ( ) [tag__in] => Array ( ) [tag__not_in] => Array ( ) [tag__and] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__in] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__and] => Array ( ) [post_parent__in] => Array ( ) [post_parent__not_in] => Array ( ) [author__in] => Array ( ) [author__not_in] => Array ( ) [orderby] => menu_order [order] => ASC [ignore_sticky_posts] => [suppress_filters] => [cache_results] => 1 [update_post_term_cache] => 1 [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1 [update_post_meta_cache] => 1 [nopaging] => [comments_per_page] => 50 [no_found_rows] => ) [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( ) [relation] => AND [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( ) [queried_terms] => Array ( ) [primary_table] => wp_posts [primary_id_column] => ID ) [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [key] => type [value] => news [compare] => LIKE ) [1] => Array ( [key] => subjects [value] => "848" [compare] => LIKE ) [relation] => AND ) [relation] => AND [meta_table] => wp_postmeta [meta_id_column] => post_id [primary_table] => wp_posts [primary_id_column] => ID [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( [0] => wp_postmeta [1] => mt1 ) [clauses:protected] => Array ( [wp_postmeta] => Array ( [key] => type [value] => news [compare] => LIKE [alias] => wp_postmeta [cast] => CHAR ) [mt1] => Array ( [key] => subjects [value] => "848" [compare] => LIKE [alias] => mt1 [cast] => CHAR ) ) [has_or_relation:protected] => ) [date_query] => WP_Date_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [after] => Array ( [year] => 2015 [month] => 6 [day] => 23 ) [column] => post_date [compare] => = [relation] => AND ) [column] => post_date [compare] => = [relation] => AND ) [relation] => AND [column] => wp_posts.post_date [compare] => = [time_keys] => Array ( [0] => after [1] => before [2] => year [3] => month [4] => monthnum [5] => week [6] => w [7] => dayofyear [8] => day [9] => dayofweek [10] => dayofweek_iso [11] => hour [12] => minute [13] => second ) ) [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts INNER JOIN wp_postmeta ON ( wp_posts.ID = wp_postmeta.post_id ) INNER JOIN wp_postmeta AS mt1 ON ( wp_posts.ID = mt1.post_id ) WHERE 1=1 AND ( wp_posts.post_date > '2015-06-23 23:59:59' ) AND ( ( wp_postmeta.meta_key = 'type' AND wp_postmeta.meta_value LIKE '%news%' ) AND ( mt1.meta_key = 'subjects' AND mt1.meta_value LIKE '%\"848\"%' ) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'spotlight' AND ((wp_posts.post_status = 'publish')) GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.menu_order ASC LIMIT 0, 6 [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9978 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-22 15:39:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-22 23:39:06 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_6828" align="alignleft" width="184"]Blake Hannaford Professor Blake Hannaford[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2315" align="alignleft" width="185"]Eric Klavins Professor Eric Klavins[/caption] UW EE Professors Blake Hannaford and Eric Klavins have joined a community of innovators – The Amazon Catalyst Fellows. In a partnership with the University of Washington, Amazon Catalyst supports bold solutions to world problems. Professor Blake Hannaford and his team at the UW BioRobotics Lab received the fellowship for the development of an Intelligent Robotic Assistant. The robot will offer precise and responsive assistance with important tasks in the operating room. It will be trained to the exact preferences of each surgeon, reducing errors and variability in precise and potentially dangerous operations such as brain tumor removal. The technology will be derived from Amazon’s Alexa and similar responsive speech recognition devices, as well as learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud. The learning-based AI will be used to analyze patterns in surgical outcomes from detailed logs of the operations. Professor Eric Klavins became a fellow for his UW BIOFAB Cloud Laboratory for Genetic Engineering (UW BIOFAB), which allows users to define experimental workflows algorithmically, attach upstream design tools and send data to downstream analysis software. This process solves the issue of losing important experimental workflow and training data. With lost data of this type, many experiments cannot be reproduced, extended or transferred because the knowledge of how to do them has not been recorded in detail; this is especially problematic with synthetic biology. UW BIOFAB offers a lab in the cloud service. The key innovation is the use of researchers to perform many of the steps in the workflows. It is based on Klavins’ software, Aquarium, which will run it. Both Hannaford’s and Klavins’ projects have the potential to improve existing world challenges. By developing a robotic assistant, with the aptitude for precision and exact replication, the medical field can increase surgical accuracy during procedures, further expand trainings for medical personnel and improve knowledge on the potential for adverse and successful outcomes. UW BIOFAB empowers confident research, maintaining important steps and data for accurate experimental replication and design. By eliminating missteps and errors in workflow, biologists’ experiments will be strengthened, increasing the potential for health treatments and therapies. [post_title] => Professors Blake Hannaford and Eric Klavins Named Amazon Catalyst Fellows [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => professors-eric-klavins-and-blake-hannaford-named-amazon-catalyst-fellows [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-22 16:05:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-23 00:05:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=9978 [menu_order] => 46 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5181 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-15 20:31:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-15 20:31:21 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-07-14at3.04.06PMIt began as a surgical device for the military, one that could fit in an armored vehicle in the combat zone. However, the robot – named Raven II – became a strong platform for advancing the software, the control, and network security for medical robotics. Motherboard visited the BioRobotics Lab at the University of Washington, illustrating what happens when you hack a surgical robot. In the video, the online magazine speaks with electrical engineering professors, Dr. Howard Chizeck and Dr. Blake Hannaford, and researcher, Dr. Tamara Bonaci at the University of Washington. The opportunities in using a remote robotic machine are numerous; the most beneficial is that you can send a robot into dire conditions. “There are many places you do not want to send humans – underwater, a biohazard area, through high temperature, firefighting, toxic areas, radioactivity, mining and space,” said Professor Chizeck. “If you’re sending a robot, but you still want to have control, you have a communication link. However, there’s the potential that the link can be compromised, so you want to keep that safe and secure.” Because the distance between the robot operator and device is often extensive, there is an increased chance of interception. In order to keep the robot safe and secure, researchers in the lab must think like attackers - they become the hackers. “My job is to try and hack the robot,” Dr. Bonaci said. “From this, we can see what safety measures need to be done.” One hack called the “man in the middle attack” tricks the robot into thinking that it is talking to the surgeon, when, in reality, it is speaking with an attacker. A hacker interrupts the signal and controls the motion of the device, leading to a potentially fatal situation. According to Professor Chizeck, these types of attacks have already been demonstrated in the operations of other medical devices, like pacemakers and insulin packs. Allowing hackers to penetrate the precarious, delicate movements of a surgeon is not only deadly, but also hard to detect, a “subtle assassination” with a minimal crime trail. Before releasing Raven II to human operations, researchers will investigate all ways to intercept the device, finding the vulnerabilities before giving the hackers a chance to look for them. [post_title] => Professors Hack Surgical Robot in Motherboard Special [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ee-professors-hack-surgical-robot-in-motherboard-special [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-07 15:03:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-07 23:03:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5181 [menu_order] => 101 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5109 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-06-28at4.36.33PMElectrical Engineering Professor Blake Hannaford, an IEEE fellow and founder of the University of Washington’s BioRobotics Laboratory, is working on a robot that will aid surgeons during delicate, critical procedures. The device has the potential to increase the success rates of surgeries. The device – called Raven – is a semi-autonomous surgical robot that provides additional support to surgeons, delivering greater dexterity and accuracy for precarious procedures. According to researchers at John Hopkins, 250,000 patients die due to medical errors each year. In fact, these errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In order to mitigate these incidences and save lives, Hannaford and his team developed Raven through using special algorithms termed “behavior trees.” "Our team has discovered that using AI algorithms called 'behavior trees,' built for opponents in certain video games translates well as a modeling language for automated medical procedures," Hannaford said. "The AI behavior trees have direct applications to programming the semi-autonomous Raven surgical robot, which will provide millions of patients with cutting edge care through greater precision and minimal invasiveness." Raven has already had a test run in the mainstream media, by appearing in the NBC drama, Heartbeat. It has visited and been tested at NASA. Although it has experienced some high-profile uses, it is still being tested for its main purpose – real-life surgeries. See Hannaford and his team of researchers demo Raven on Thursday, June 30 through a Facebook Live event. The event will be hosted on IEEE’s Facebook page. [post_title] => Prof. Hannaford Develops Device to Improve Surgeries, Save Lives [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => prof-hannaford-develops-device-to-improve-surgeries-save-lives [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-07 18:11:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5109 [menu_order] => 110 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1407 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2015-12-11 00:58:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-12-11 00:58:54 [post_content] =>
Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Smith_Joshua__1457646140_128.95.215.177 Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Joshua Smith Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
To support the development of implantable devices that can restore movement, and improve the overall quality of life, for people with spinal cord injury or stroke, UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) has received $16 million in funding from the National Science Foundation. The funding, dispersed during the next four years, will allow researchers to continue their cutting-edge work, with the goal of having proof-of-concept demonstrations in humans within the next five years. Based at the UW, the CSNE is directed by EE Adjunct Faculty member Rajesh Rao, who is a UW professor of computer science and engineering. Founded in 2011, the CSNE is one of 17 Engineering Research Centers funded by the National Science Foundation. Core partners are located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and San Diego State University. A prime example of cross-campus collaboration, research is being undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team including several UW EE faculty members: Howard Chizeck, Blake Hannaford, Matt Reynolds, Chris Rudell, Visvesh Sathe and Joshua Smith. “UW is extremely fortunate to have visionary leaders in Director Rajesh Rao and Deputy Director Chet Moritz, who are spearheading the cutting edge research at CSNE,” said EE Chair Radha Poovendran. “Under their leadership, the CSNE is growing to be a place where fundamental and translation research for the benefit of society are fostered.” To restore sensorimotor function and neurorehabilitation, CSNE researchers are working to build closed-loop co-adaptive bi-directional brain-computer interfaces that can both record from and stimulate the central nervous system. The devices essentially form a bridge between lost brain connections, achieved by decoding brain signals produced when a person decides they would like to move their arm and grasp a cup. Specific parts of the spinal cord are then stimulated to achieve the desired action. By wirelessly transmitting information, damaged areas of the brain are avoided. Researchers are also working to improve current devices on the market, such as deep brain stimulators that are used to treat Parkinson’s disease. A challenge with current systems is that they are constantly “on” and may provide stimulation to patients when not needed, resulting in unintended side effects as well as reduced battery life. CSNE researchers are working to make these systems "closed-loop," turning them on only when the patient intends to move. See Also: Seattle Times Article UW Today Article [post_title] => CSNE Receives $16 Million to Continue Developing Implantable Devices to Treat Paralysis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => csne-receives-16-million-to-continue-developing-implantable-devices-to-treat-paralysis [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-16 15:41:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-16 23:41:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=1407 [menu_order] => 885 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 4 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9978 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-22 15:39:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-22 23:39:06 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_6828" align="alignleft" width="184"]Blake Hannaford Professor Blake Hannaford[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2315" align="alignleft" width="185"]Eric Klavins Professor Eric Klavins[/caption] UW EE Professors Blake Hannaford and Eric Klavins have joined a community of innovators – The Amazon Catalyst Fellows. In a partnership with the University of Washington, Amazon Catalyst supports bold solutions to world problems. Professor Blake Hannaford and his team at the UW BioRobotics Lab received the fellowship for the development of an Intelligent Robotic Assistant. The robot will offer precise and responsive assistance with important tasks in the operating room. It will be trained to the exact preferences of each surgeon, reducing errors and variability in precise and potentially dangerous operations such as brain tumor removal. The technology will be derived from Amazon’s Alexa and similar responsive speech recognition devices, as well as learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud. The learning-based AI will be used to analyze patterns in surgical outcomes from detailed logs of the operations. Professor Eric Klavins became a fellow for his UW BIOFAB Cloud Laboratory for Genetic Engineering (UW BIOFAB), which allows users to define experimental workflows algorithmically, attach upstream design tools and send data to downstream analysis software. This process solves the issue of losing important experimental workflow and training data. With lost data of this type, many experiments cannot be reproduced, extended or transferred because the knowledge of how to do them has not been recorded in detail; this is especially problematic with synthetic biology. UW BIOFAB offers a lab in the cloud service. The key innovation is the use of researchers to perform many of the steps in the workflows. It is based on Klavins’ software, Aquarium, which will run it. Both Hannaford’s and Klavins’ projects have the potential to improve existing world challenges. By developing a robotic assistant, with the aptitude for precision and exact replication, the medical field can increase surgical accuracy during procedures, further expand trainings for medical personnel and improve knowledge on the potential for adverse and successful outcomes. UW BIOFAB empowers confident research, maintaining important steps and data for accurate experimental replication and design. By eliminating missteps and errors in workflow, biologists’ experiments will be strengthened, increasing the potential for health treatments and therapies. [post_title] => Professors Blake Hannaford and Eric Klavins Named Amazon Catalyst Fellows [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => professors-eric-klavins-and-blake-hannaford-named-amazon-catalyst-fellows [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-22 16:05:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-23 00:05:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=9978 [menu_order] => 46 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 4 [max_num_pages] => 1 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 0e18251dda921a1bf536e566d7a1a313 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) )
 

Representative Publications

  • Hannaford, B. and Rosen, J. and Friedman, Diana DW and King, H. and Roan, P. and Cheng, L. and Glozman, D. and Ma, J. and Kosari, S.N. and White, L. (2013) Raven-II: AN Open Platform for Surgical Robotics Research. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 60. pp. 954-959.
  • Hu, Danying (2015) Path Planning for Semi-automated Simulated Robotic Neurosurgery. In: 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Sep28-Oct02, 2015, Hamburg.
  • Lindsay, J. and Adams, R. and Hannaford, B. (2013) Improving Tactile Feedback with an Impedance Adapter. In: Proc. 2013 World Haptics Congress, Daejon, Korea.
  • Adams, R.J. and Olowin, A. and Krekovich, E. and Hannaford, B. and Lindsay, J.I.C and Homer, P. and Patrie, J. and Sands, S. (2013) Glove-Enabled Computer Operations (GECO): Design and Testing of an Extravehicular Activity Glove Adapted for Human-Computer Interface. In: Proc. 43rd International Conference on Environmental Systems.
  • Lindsay, J.I.C and Jiang, I. and Larson, E. and Adams, R.J. and Patel, S. and Hannaford, B. (2013) Good Vibrations; An Evaluation of Vibrotactile Impedance Matching for Low Power Wearable Applications. In: Proc. UIST 13.
  • Hannaford, B. and Buttolo, P. and King, H. (2014) Multi-finger Haptic Displays for Characterization of Hand Response. In: The Human Hand: A Source of Inspiration for Robotic Hand: Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR) series,. Springer, Heidelberg., pp. 363-388.
Blake Hannaford Headshot
Phone206-543-2197
blake@u.washington.edu
Web PageClick Here
Mail
M434 EE/CSE

Associated Labs

Research Areas

Affiliations

Innovation/Entrepreneurship

Education

  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, 1985
    University of California, Berkeley
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, 1982
    University of California, Berkeley
  • BS, Engineering and Applied Science, 1977
    Yale University