Professor Au, Kwok Wai Samuel

Associate Professor
Address:
Mechanical and Automation Engineering
Room 315A, William M.W. Mong Engineering Building
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong SAR, China
Tel:
Fax:
e-mail:
(852) 3943 8328
(852) 2603 6002
samuelau@mae.cuhk.edu.hk

Biography

Samuel Au received the B.Eng. and M.Phil degrees in Mechanical and Automation Engineering from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China in 1997 and 1999, respectively. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at MIT in 2007. During his PhD study, he invented (with Prof. Hugh Herr) the MIT Robotic Ankle-foot Prosthesis, which mimics the action of a biological ankle and, for the first time, provides transtibial amputees with a natural gait. This invention was named one of the Best Inventions of Year by TIME magazine in 2007 and was later commercialized by iWalk, Inc (now is called BionX Medical Technologes, Inc). Over one thousand of amputees have adopted to use this innovative prosthetic device in their daily life.

Dr. Au is an Associate Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) since Sept, 2016. Before joining CUHK, he was the manager of Systems Analysis of the New Product Development Department at Intuitive Surgical, Inc. At Intuitive Surgical, he co-invented and led the product development (SW and Control Area) of the FDA approved daVinci Si Single-Site surgical platform (2012), Single-Site Wristed Needle Driver (2014), and daVinci Xi Single-Site surgical platform (2016). daVinci SingleSite platform was the first FDA approved robotic platform to support single incision surgery. Since the official launch at Dec 2012, over 110K patients have received the single incision surgery through this platform and more than 500 clinical centers/hospitals around the globe have been using this platform for research studies as well as their clinical practice.

Dr. Au is the author and co-author of over 12 peer-reviewed manuscripts and conference journals, and has more than 20 patents pending. His inventions/works featured in numerous magazines such as New York Times and Technology Review. He has won numerous awards including the first prize in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Mechanism Design Competition in 2007, Intuitive Surgical (ISI) Problem Solving Award in 2010, and Intuitive Surgical (ISI) Inventor Award in 2011.

Research

My research interests are in the design, system dynamics, and control of robotic systems with applications to rehabilitation, medical intervention, and human-centered machine. I focus on developing new methods of synthesis, analysis, and optimization of novel robots and mechanism, as well as control principles. In addition, I also like to leverage the design and control knowledge, together with medical science and innovative design to create novel robotic solutions to address fundamental clinical questions, overcome limitations of existing medical devices, as well as enable new medical treatment. Ultimately, I hope to provide profound impacts in the quality of life of patients through technologies.

Current Projects:

  • Design and control of soft robotic manipulator
  • Control algorithms and software infrastructure development for da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK)
  • Development of advanced robotic instrumentation for hernia repair
  • Design and control of high performance flexible robotic system for confined space surgery
  • Design and control of under-actuated robotic system.

Teaching by Years

2016/2017

  • ENGG5402 Advanced Robotics (Fall 2016)
  • MAEG4040 Mechatronic Systems (Spring 2017)

Honors & Awards

  • ISI Inventor Award, Intuitive Surgical, Inc (2011)
  • ISI Problem Solving Award, Intuitive Surgical, Inc (2010)
  • Rank 1st in the Best Inventions of the Year, TIME magazine (Health Division) (2007)
  • First prize of ASME Student Mechanism Design Competition (2007)
  • Finalist of the IEEE EMBS Student Paper Competition (2007)
  • Croucher Foundation Fellowship, The Croucher Foundation (2002-2004)
  • Third Prize of the "Challenge Cup" Competition of Science and Technology Works of China (1997)
  • First Class Honor of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, CUHK (1997)

Publications

Journal Papers

  • Xu, Y., Ben, B., and Au, S. K., Dynamic mobility with single-wheel configuration, International Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 728-38, 1999.
  • Au, S. K., Weber J., and Herr, H., Powered ankle-foot prosthesis improves walking metabolic economy, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 25, issue 1, pp. 51 - 66 , Feb 2009. (Google Scholar: Cited by 243)
  • Au, S. K. and Herr, H., On the design of a powered ankle-foot prosthesis: The importance of series and parallel motor elasticity, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, vol. 15, issue 3, pp. 52 -59, 2008. (Google Scholar: Cited by 154)
  • Au, S. K., Bernike, M., and Herr, H., Powered ankle-foot prosthesis to assist level-ground and stair-descent gaits, International Journal of Neural Networks, vol. 21, issue 4, pp. 654 - 666, 2008. (Google Scholar: Cited by 292)
  • Xu, Y. and Au, S. K., Stabilization and path following of a single wheel robot, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 407-419, 2004. (Google Scholar: Cited by 100)
  • Au, S. K., Xu, Y., and Yu, W. Y., "Control of tilt-up motion via model-based and human-based controllers," An International Journal of Mechatronics, vol. 11, pp. 451-473, 2001, Elsevier Science

Conference Papers
  • Xu, Y., Au, S. K., Nandy, C. G., and Brown, H., "Analysis of actuation and dynamic balancing for a single-wheel robot Intelligent Robots and Systems, Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Victoria, Canada, pp. 1789 -1794, 1998.
  • Au, S. K. and Xu, Y., Decoupled dynamics and stabilization of a single wheel robot, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Poshan, Korea, pp. 197-203, Oct. 1999.
  • Xu, Y., Yu, W. K., and Au, S. K., Modeling human strategy in controlling a dynamically stabilized robot, Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Poshan, Korea, pp. 1789-94, Oct. 1999.
  • Au, S. K., Herr, H., Weber J., and Martinez E., Powered ankle-foot prosthesis for the improvement of amputee ambulation, Proc. IEEE EMBS Annual International Conference, Lyon, France, August 2007. (Finalist of the IEEE EMBS Student Paper Competition) (Google Scholar: Cited by 124)
  • Au, S. K., Weber. J., and Herr, H., Biomechanical design of a powered ankle-foot prosthesis, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. On Rehabilitation Robotics, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, pp. 298-303, June 2007.
  • Au, S. K., Dilworth, P., and Herr, H., An ankle-foot emulation system for the study of human walking biomechanics, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Orlando, FL, pp. 2939-2945, May 2006.
  • Au, S. K. and Herr, H, Initial experimental study on dynamic interaction between an amputee and a powered ankle-foot prosthesis, Workshop on Dynamic Walking: Mechanics and Control of Human and Robot Locomotion, Ann Arbor, MI, May 2006.
  • 4Au, S. K., Bonato, P., and Herr, H., An EMG-position controlled system for an active ankle-foot prosthesis: an initial experimental study, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. On Rehabilitation Robotics, Chicago, IL, pp. 375-379, June 2005. (Google Scholar: Cited by 141)
  • Cho, K.-J., Au, S. K., and Asada, H., Large-scale servo control using a matrix wire network for driving a large number of actuators, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 646-651, Sept. 2003.
  • Au, S. K. and Xu, Y., Path following of a single wheel robot, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, SF, CA, pp. 2925-30, 2000.
  • Xu, Y., Au, S. K., and Yu, W. K., Control of a gyroscopically stabilized robot, Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences 250: Experimental Robotics VI, pp. 215-24, Spinger-Verlag, 2000.

Patents
  • Au, S. K., Invertors; Flexible medical instrument. Application number: US 62/048194. Filing date: Sept 9, 2014.
  • Au, S. K., Invertors; System with guides and tools of different flexibility. Application number: US 62/048120. Filing date: Sept 9, 2014.
  • Au, S. K., Invertors; Systems and methods for teleoperation instrument control. Application number: US 62/040747. Filing date: Aug 22, 2014.
  • Au, S. K., Invertors; Systems and methods for medical instrument force sensing. Application number: US 62/041204. Filing date: Aug 25, 2014.
  • Blumenkranz, S. J., Au, S. K, Inventors; Hybrid manual and robotic interventional instruments and methods of use. Application number: US 14/197, 325. Filing date: Mar 7, 2013.
  • Au, S. K., Blumenkranz, S. J., Prisco, G. M. Inventors; Self-antagonistic drive for medical instruments. Application number: US 14/068, 127. Filing date: Oct 31, 2013.
  • Au, S. K., Bonneau, R. A., Diolaiti, N., Hingwe, P., Hourtash, A. M., Kerdok, A. E., Turner, M. Inventors; Phantom degrees of freedom in joint estimation and control. Application number: US 13/966, 494. Filing date: Aug 14, 2013. (Grant)
  • Hourtash, A. M., Au, S. K., Bonneau, R. A., Diolaiti, N., Hingwe, P., Kerdok, A. E., Turner, M. Inventors; Phantom degrees of freedom for manipulating the movement of mechanical bodies. Application number: US 13/966, 406. Filing date: Aug 14, 2013. (Grant)
  • Hingwe, P., Au, S. K., Bonneau, R. A., Diolaiti N., Hourtash, A. M., Kerdok, A. E., Turner, M. Inventors; Phantom degrees of freedom for manipulating the movement of surgical systems. Application number: US 13/966, 437. Filing date: Aug 14, 2013. (Grant)
  • Au, S. K., Donhowe, C. Q., Duindam V., Fenech, C., Mohr, C. J., Prisco, G. M. Inventors; Catheter system. Application number: PCT/US2012/059889. Filing date: Oct 12, 2012.
  • Duindam, V., Mohr, C. J., Fenech, C., Donhowe, C. Q., Prisco, G. M., Au, S. K. Inventors; Catheter with removable vision probe. Application number: US13/274208. Filing date: Oct 14, 2011.
  • Stoy, K. D., Prisco, M. G., Au, S. K., Fenech C. Inventors; Flexible surgical devices. Application number: 12/946,741. Filing date: Nov 15, 2010. (Grant)
  • Au, S. K., Prisco, M. G. Inventors; Tension control in actuation of multi-joint medical instruments. Application number: 12/945,734. Filing date: Nov 12, 2010. (Grant)
  • 1Prisco, M. G., Au, S. K., Gerbi C. R., Rogers T. W., Steger J. R., and Swinehart C. E. Inventors; Curved Cannula. Application number: 12/618,549, Filing date: Nov 13, 2009. (Grant)
  • Prisco, M. G., Au, S. K., Inventors; Curved Cannula Surgical System Control. Application number: 12/618,598. Filing date: Nov 13, 2009 (Grant)
  • Prisco, M. G., Au, S. K., Inventors; Drive force control in medical instrument providing position measurements. Application number: 12/780,417. Filing date: May 14, 2010. (Grant)
  • Herr, H., Weber, J. A., Au., S. K., Deffenbaugh, B. W., Magnusson, L. H., Hofmann A. G., Aisen, B. B., inventors; Powered Ankle-Foot Prosthesis. Application number: 12/157,727. Publication number: US8512415 B2, Filing date: Jun 12, 2008. (Grant)
  • Herr, H., Au., S. K., Paluska, D., Dilworth P., inventors; An artificial ankle-foot system with spring, variable-damping, and series-elastic actuator components. Application number: 11/495,140 Publication number: US 2007/0043449 A1. Filing date: Jul 29, 2006. . (Grant, also published as US8734528 B2)