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Building a Six Degree-of-Freedom MRI-Compatible Haptic Interface

NeuroVentures
Awarded in 2013

NeuroVentures Equipment Grant

Oussama Khatib, Computer Science
Scott Delp, Bioengineering
Kenneth Salisbury, Computer Science
Samuel McClure, Psychology
Brian Wandell, Psychology

How does the brain manage complex neuromuscular coordination while performing everyday tasks? Robotics experts have teamed up with at biomechanical engineer and psychologists to create a specialized haptic device with six degrees of freedom that is MRI-compatible. Professors Oussama Khatib (Computer Science), Scott Delp (Bioengineering), Kenneth Salisbury (Computer Science), Samuel McClure (Psychology), and Brian Wandell (Psychology) will construct the custom-built device for use with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The collaborators will be able to image brain activity while an individual performs complex motor tasks in a large, virtual workspace. The haptic system will allow a wide variety of tasks to be performed and monitored within the confined workspace and disruptive magnetic field of the MRI.