Saturday, August 15, 2015

Angelica Price Final Post

If your forgot what it is that I have been working on over the summer, well it all seemed to come together towards the end.  I have been working on needle optimization for target trajectory.  At the end of the three needles that were made and tested for their shape setting accuracy it turned out that the needles themselves did not match up to the patients we were trying to match them too, but they were good helical needles and since we could measure their torsion and curvature they could be used with the robot, which is the most important part.

After the needles were tested, we were supposed to go and do some experiments within the MRI machine to see how accurately the pneumatic stepper motor was working to reach a desired target, but towards the end of the summer there seemed to be some issues with our forward kinematics, and the tests had to be pushed back to later this week.

On the upside, my mentor Dave contacted me and stated that he had conducted some experiements within the MRI scanner and it had hit the four targets! Which means the accuracy of the robot is doing well!!

As part of my studies, I have an art and design minor with a focus on graphic designing. Besides working with 2G (project number), I noticed the lab didn't really have a logo, and the website was way out of date, so I created a new logo and website that was easy to manage. I also created a summary video for the general public about 2G. Links are at the bottom for the Laboratory for the Design and Control of Energized Systems website and Youtube channel, more videos to come of course!

It is sad to no longer be in Olin (Pictured above), but it was an absolutely amazing experience. One thing that I really valued during my experience at Vanderbilt was to see their great collaboration with surgery, they even have a whole section called Vanderbilt Initiative in Surgery Engineering (VISE), which I strongly encourage you all to go check out some of the different research being conducted. I was not the only intern working on this project and because he received his opportunity through VISE, I got to be involved in his intern program and he got to watch all of our webcasts and learn about the CCEFP. It was nice to in a ways "double dip" in the experience.  I learned so much about the medical device part of engineering and realized that though it does have to do with medical things, it is not exactly considered biomedical. Honestly I didn't meet a single person that was biomedical but instead met many mechanical and electrical engineers who collaborate a lot with doctors.

I am really glad I had a lab that was willing to answer all of my questions about grad school and that made our work environment enjoyable to be in, and were able to teach me so much about research. They also provided excellent friendship in a place I knew nothing about. They made sure I didn't starve by telling me the best places to eat and even taking me to buy groceries because the grocery store was far.

I honestly can not express to you all the gratitude I have towards the CCEFP for giving me such an amazing opportunity. Thank you to my great mentors, because even though I was assigned to one grad student mentor, it felt like I had 4.

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