I currently work as a graduate research assistant in the Compliant Mechanisms Research Group at Brigham Young University (BYU CMR). My research involves the application of compliant mechanisms — things that gain some or all of motion through the deflection of flexible segments — to surgical instruments used in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery. We collaborate with Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISI), the maker of the da Vinci Surgical System. Several new wrist and gripper designs have been created, three of which have been prototyped and tested at scale.
I have been involved in all stages of the research process including brainstorming/concept generation, analytic and FE modeling, prototyping, experimental testing, and writing. I have completed several presentations and reports for ISI and am currently working on a journal article and a conference paper. Highlights from the research I have been involved with can be seen in the video above. The news story and more information can be found on the BYU news website.
Apart from my research I’ve helped out with quite a few projects in our lab including assembling and configuring a 3D printer (BCN3D+) and designing a custom motor driver circuit for an engineering exhibit, “Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami”, in the BYU Museum of Art. The circuit was used to drive a 0.2 HP motor that raised and lowered a kinetic sculpture (video shown below).