Joined Auris Surgical Robotics

Allen Jiang Auris

I recently joined medical device start-up Auris Surgical Robotics.

PhD Defense Completed

I just successfully defended my PhD thesis, so it has now been accepted with minor corrections. The viva was 3.5 hours long, and consisted of a short overview presentation, followed by a thorough reading and discussion of the 184-page thesis.

robotic granular jamming thesis cover

Because my thesis was interdisciplinary in nature, the two external examiners came from different fields. One was an expert in robotics, while the other in granular matter. Both asked insightful and detailed questions on the sections most relevant to their expertise, which I found to be very good, yet a bit stressful. Every aspect of the thesis was covered by someone knowledgeable in the field, and thus there was no room to divert questions or dismiss suggestions. Nonetheless, both examiners were happy with the work I had done, and their main criticism was that the chapters were not written strongly enough to truly emphasize the impact my research has produced. They both agreed that my work has a vast potential in medicine, physics, engineering, and robotics, and so the introductions of each chapter should highlight the main contributions to provide future readers a better understanding of the importance and relevance. The granular matter examiner even mentioned that future work based on my PhD could produce papers with citations of 600+, as they can be submitted to journals like Nature or Science. So, to any upcoming PhD students who want to follow my work, hopefully my contributions will help you make it big!

In other news, within two weeks before my defense, I received word that all three of my journal papers had been accepted. It was perfect timing! So, watch out for my name in Soft Robotics, Advanced Robotics, and Journal of Robotics Society of Japan.

Status Update – 2014/02/28

So, I thought 2012 was a great year. Turns out 2013 was even more fun.

Through conferences and some leisure, I managed to travel all over the world.

From February to March, I helped a friend develop his Kickstarter project on a mobile robot. It was a great learning experience, and he managed to meet this initial quota!

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A fun robot project

Then, in April, I presented my work to reviewers of the EU project STIFF-FLOP in Genoa, Italy. It was my second time in Italy, and it was quite fun. Got to see some familiar faces, as well. It was the first year review of the 7 million euro project, so every one was nervous. Luckily, our hard work paid off, and the review went smoothly.

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Demonstrating my work to EU Project Reviewers

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Testing out the camera before the big group picture

In early May, I flew to Karlsruhe, Germany with much of the King’s College London robotics group to attend ICRA 2013. It was my first time in Germany, and what a nice place it is.

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Karlsruhe, Germany

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Mr. Roboto

Then, Korea!

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In front of the Engineering department at Seoul National University

Back in London, the BBC came to our lab to film some of our robots, and I managed to sneak in a shot of myself at 2:13. I’m world famous, now.

In July, it was off to Osaka, Japan for EMBC 2013. The first leg of a round-the-world trip, I’d be making.

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Vending machines everywhere!

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Fantastic conference

Part two was in Sydney, Australia for Powders and Grains 2013!

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I learned so much at this conference

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This is winter in Sydney

The last leg of my two month trip. Actually in America for ASME IDETC 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

I met another Allen Jiang!

I met another Allen Jiang!

Allen Jiang at ASME 2013 IDETC

My last conference… for now!

All in all, 2013 was a great year. Now, let’s see what 2014 will hold…

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