Ron Alterovitz

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We present a new approach to motion planning under sensing and motion uncertainty by computing a locally optimal solution to a continuous partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP). Our approach represents beliefs (the distributions of the robot’s state estimate) by Gaussian distributions and is applicable to robot systems with non-linear dynamics(More)
We present a new motion planning framework that explicitly considers uncertainty in robot motion to maximize the probability of avoiding collisions and successfully reaching a goal. In many motion planning applications ranging from maneuvering vehicles over unfamiliar terrain to steering flexible medical needles through human tissue, the response of a robot(More)
We explore motion planning for a new class of highly flexible bevel-tip medical needles that can be steered to previously unreachable targets in soft tissue. Planning for these procedures is difficult because the needles bend during insertion and cause the surrounding soft tissues to displace and deform. In this paper, we develop a planning algorithm for(More)
We develop a new motion planning algorithm for a variant of a Dubins car with binary left/right steering and apply it to steerable needles, a new class of flexible bevel-tip medical needles that physicians can steer through soft tissue to reach clinical targets inaccessible to traditional stiff needles. Our method explicitly considers uncertainty in needle(More)
Flexible, tip-steerable needles promise to enhance physicianspsila abilities to accurately reach targets and maneuver inside the human body while minimizing patient trauma. Here, we present a functional needle steering system that integrates two components: (1) a patient-specific 2D pre- and intraoperative planner that finds an achievable route to a target(More)
When inserted into soft tissues, flexible needles with bevel tips have been shown experimentally to follow a path of constant curvature in the direction of the bevel. By controlling 2 degrees of freedom at the needle base (bevel direction and insertion distance), these needles can be steered around obstacles to reach targets inaccessible to rigid needles.(More)
Bevel-tip steerable needles for minimally invasive medical procedures can be used to reach clinical targets that are behind sensitive or impenetrable areas and are inaccessible to straight, rigid needles. We present a fast algorithm that can compute motion plans for steerable needles to reach targets in complex, 3D environments with obstacles at interactive(More)
We present algorithms for simulating and visualizing the insertion and steering of needles through deformable tissues for surgical training and planning. Needle insertion is an essential component of many clinical procedures such as biopsies, injections, neurosurgery, and brachytherapy cancer treatment. The success of these procedures depends on accurate(More)
− To facilitate training and planning for medical procedures such as prostate brachytherapy, we are developing an interactive simulation of needle insertion and radioactive seed implantation in soft tissues. We describe a new 2D dynamic FEM model based on a reduced set of scalar parameters such as needle friction, sharpness, and velocity, where the mesh is(More)
Computing globally optimal motion plans requires exploring the configuration space to identify reachable free space regions as well as refining understanding of already explored regions to find better paths. We present the rapidly-exploring roadmap (RRM), a new method for single-query optimal motion planning that allows the user to explicitly consider the(More)