Innovative Robotic Systems and its Applications to Agile Locomotion and Surgery

Prof. Au, Kwok Wai Samuel
Professor, Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, CUHK
Professor, Department of Surgery, CUHK
Co-Director, Chow Yuk Ho Technology Centre for Innovative Medicine, CUHK
Director, Multiscale Medical Robotic Center, InnoHK

Over the past decades, a wide range of bio-inspired legged robots have been developed that can run, jump, and climb over a variety of challenging surfaces. However, in terms of maneuverability they still lag far behind animals. Animals can effectively use their mechanical body and external appendages (such as tails) to achieve spectacular maneuverability, energy efficient locomotion, and robust stabilization to large perturbations which may not be easily attained in the existing legged robots. In this talk, we will present our efforts on the development of innovative legged robots with greater mobility/efficiency/robustness, comparable to its biological counterpart. We will discuss the fundamental challenges in legged robots and demonstrate the feasibility of developing such kinds of agile systems. We believe our solutions could potentially lead to more efficient legged robot design and give the legged robot animal-like mobility and robustness. Furthermore, we will also present our robotic development on surgery domain and show how these technologies can be integrated with legged robots to create novel teleoperated legged mobile manipulators for service and construction applications.

Dr. Kwok Wai Samuel Au is currently a Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering and Department of Surgery (by courtesy) at CUHK, and the Founding Director of Multiscale Medical Robotics Center, InnoHK. In Sept 2019, Dr. Au found Cornerstone Robotics and has been serving as the president of the company, aiming to create affordable surgical robotic solution. Dr. Au received the B.Eng. and M.Phil degrees in Mechanical and Automation Engineering from CUHK in 1997 and 1999, respectively and completed his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at MIT in 2007. During his PhD study, Prof. Hugh Herr, Dr. Au, and other colleagues from MIT Biomechatronics group co-invented the MIT Powered Ankle-foot Prosthesis.

Before joining CUHK(2016), he was the manager of Systems Analysis of the New Product Development Department at Intuitive Surgical, Inc. At Intuitive Surgical, he co-invented and was leading the software and control algorithm development for the FDA cleared da Vinci Si Single-Site surgical platform (2012), Single-Site Wristed Needle Driver (2014), and da Vinci Xi Single-Site surgical platform (2016). He was also a founding team member for the early development of Intuitive Surgical’s FDA cleared robot-assisted catheter system, da Vinci ION system from 2008 to 2012.

Dr. Au co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and conference journals, 17 granted US patents/EP, and 3 pending US Patents. He has won numerous awards including the first prize in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Mechanism Design Competition in 2007, Intuitive Surgical Problem Solving Award in 2010, and Intuitive Surgical Inventor Award in 2011.

Enquiries: Ms. Karen Chan at Tel. 3943 8439


Sep 15, 2022


5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Room 121, 1/F, Ho Sin-Hang Engineering Building, CUHK

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