Human-Robot Teaming in Aircraft Maintenance. Credit: Lufthansa Technik AG

Seminar Series

The Wisconsin Robotics Seminar Series (WRSS) is a monthly event hosted by Prof. Bilge Mutlu from the department of computer science at UW-Madison as part of the NASA University Leadership Initiative funded project “Effective Human-Robot Teaming to Advance Aviation Manufacturing”. The presentations and discussions are aimed to highlight challenges and interesting research across a range of topics in robotics. Anyone is welcome to join!


The seminar is hosted on the first Wednesday of every month at 1pm CT for one hour. The format is a 45 minute talk followed by a 15 minute discussion.


The seminar is live-streamed on zoom. You can join our email subscription list to hear about upcoming talks and get the streaming link. Previous talks are available here.


We are interested in having a wide range of speakers. If you might be interested in giving a talk, please email Mike Hagenow (mhagenow[at] and Nitzan Orr (nitzan[at] with subject ‘[Seminar Series]’.

Upcoming Talks

  • April 5, 2023: Dr. Yash Chitalia (zoom link)

    • Title: Tiny (and not so tiny) continuum robots that bend and twist
    • Abstract: Manual manipulation of active catheters for life-saving surgery is time consuming with uncertain results. Steerable robotic micro-catheters are essential to the operating room of the future, but lack from sufficient dexterity to navigate tortuous vascular and cardiac anatomy. Tendon-driven concentric-tube continuum robots can allow for follow-the-leader motion capabilities, i.e. the ability for the surgeon to ‘snake through’ tortuous anatomy. This talk introduces the design of a micro-scale COaxially Aligned STeerable (COAST) guidewire/catheter robot that uses concentric tendon-driven tubes. This robot demonstrates variable and independently controlled bending length and curvature of the distal end allowing for follow-the-leader motion. The capability of the robot to accurately navigate through phantom anatomical bifurcations and tortuous angles is also demonstrated in phantom vascular structures. Next, a novel Cosserat Rod model is presented to predict the shape of general concentric-tube tendon-driven robots. This is the first and only mechanical model to accurately predict the “bending and twisting” behavior seen in concentric-tube tendon-driven robots, which is critical for autonomous control of these robots. This model is then validated for a general tendon-driven meso-scale cardiac catheter.
    • Bio: Yash Chitalia is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the director of the Healthcare Robotics and Telesurgery (HeaRT) Laboratory at the University of Louisville. Prior to his faculty position, he worked as a Research Fellow at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and a BE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India. His research vision is to revolutionize the field of minimally invasive surgery by designing semi-autonomous micro-and meso-scale surgical robots. Surgical success today depends heavily on our ability to detect, reach, and remove any cause of morbidity. In each of these sub-requirements, surgeons would benefit from dexterous intelligent robotic tools. Yash’s research aims to design such tools using micro-scale machining, 3D-printing, modeling of super-elastic structures and joints to control dexterous continuum robots. He collaborates with interventional radiologists and neurosurgeons from the University of Louisville Neurosurgery, Boston Children’s Hospital, Emory University Hospital, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) to design his robots.
  • Past Talks (All recordings here)

    • March 1, 2023: Dr. Melkior Ornik (recording)
    • February 8, 2023: Dr. Andrea Bajcsy (recording)
    • December 7, 2022: Dr. Boyi Hu (recording)
    • November 2, 2022: Dr. Marynel Vázquez (recording)
    • October 5, 2022: Dr. Kris Hauser (recording)
    • May 6, 2022: Dr. Blake Hannaford (recording)
    • April 1, 2022: Dr. Jeremy Marvel
    • February 4, 2022: Dr. Freek Stulp
    • December 3, 2021: Dr. Arash Ajoudani
    • November 5, 2021: Dr. Tom Williams (recording)
    • October 1, 2021: Dr. Josiah Hanna (recording)
    • June 2, 2021: Dr. Bradley Hayes (recording)
    • May 5, 2021: Dr. Sylvain Calinon (recording)
    • April 7, 2021: Dr. Santosh Devasia
    • March 3, 2021: Dr. S.K. Gupta