Teleoperation, Force Sensing, Haptics and Control Issues in Medical Robotics


An esteemed London IEEE Member, Dr. Rajni Patel, has been awarded IEEE Canada's 2021 A.G.L. McNaughton Award.  Recipients of this medal are outstanding Canadian engineers recognized for their exemplary contributions to the engineering profession.

As part of recognizing this award, we have invited Dr. Patel to provide an overview of his research interests.


Teleoperated (leader-follower) robotic systems offer advantages to the user of increased dexterity and precision, tremor filtering, motion repeatability, and the possibility of autonomous or semi-autonomous functions.  In the time of a pandemic such as COVID-19, they provide a means of improved safety for healthcare workers through the possibility of performing certain functions from short or long distances such as patient monitoring, assessment and treatment.  However, these teleoperated systems also have some disadvantages, primarily as a result of limitations of the current technology.  These issues will be discussed in the talk in the context of two specific areas of application: robotics-assisted medical interventions and robotics for neurological movement disorders.  Particular focus will be on issues arising from the absence of accurate haptic (sense of touch) feedback which prevents reflection to the user of realistic interaction forces between a robot and a patient or objects in the robot’s environment.  The role of haptics-based teleoperation will be discussed based on experimental studies to highlight the key issues associated with incorporating force sensing, haptics and teleoperation in patient-oriented robotic systems and the advantages and potential uses of such interaction in specific applications.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 17 Jun 2021
  • Time: 12:30 PM to 01:45 PM
  • All times are America/Toronto
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  • London, Ontario
  • Canada

  • Starts 24 May 2021 01:49 PM
  • Ends 17 June 2021 12:30 PM
  • All times are America/Toronto
  • No Admission Charge


Dr. Rajni Patel

Dr. Rajni Patel


Dr. Rajni Patel received the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cambridge, England in 1973 and currently holds the position of Distinguished University Professor and Tier-1 Canada Research Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with cross appointments in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at Western University.  Dr. Patel is a founding member of CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics), a research centre for surgical robotics at the London Health Sciences Centre, and serves as its Director of Engineering.

Dr. Patel has over 35 years of research experience in the design, simulation, prototyping and control of advanced robotic and mechatronic systems.  He has also made significant contributions to the development and application of intelligent (neural-network based) control techniques, and computational and robustness issues in control system design.   From 1991 to 2000, Dr. Patel collaborated with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Bombardier Inc. on three of CSA’s Strategic Technologies in Automation and Robotics (STEAR) programs.  Since 2000, Dr. Patel’s research has focused on robotic and other mechatronic applications in minimally invasive surgery and therapy, haptics and teleoperation, and surgical training and skills assessment, and more recently on applications for stroke rehabilitation, Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological movement disorders.  He has published over 500 refereed journal and conference papers, 16 book chapters, and 10 books and monographs.

Dr. Patel is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).  He has served on the editorial boards of several journals including the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, and the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control.


12:30 Welcome and Introductions

12:45 Dr Rajni Patel's presentation

13:30 Q&A session