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K-State Today

September 11, 2014

K-State Salina professors to facilitate panel discussions with other Kansas universities for possible collaboration on health care robotics research

Submitted by Julee Cobb

Saeed Khan

Three K-State Salina engineering technology faculty members will attend the Kansas City section of Engineers in Medicine and Biology Society panel discussion Sept. 11 to talk to faculty from other Kansas institutions about working together on health care robotics research.

Saeed Khan, associate professor of electronic and computer engineering technology, is the chair of the Kansas City section of the society and will serve as the moderator for the panel. K-State Salina's Mark Jackson, engineering technology department head, and Raju Dandu, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, also will attend along with engineering professors from the university's main campus in Manhattan, Wichita State University and Pittsburg State University. Faculty and students from the University of Missouri, Kansas City also are expected to attend.

The goal of the panel discussion is to bring together engineering and engineering technology faculty from a variety of backgrounds to create a plan of how each person's area of expertise can benefit the medical field. The group is specifically examining health care robotics for the elderly. Even though this will be the first time all of the professors have assembled, Khan has hopes for a future partnership.

"This is an attempt to kick-start a collaboration that not only has the capability of elevating research but producing an invention that can give someone a better quality of life and is readily available," Khan said. "Health care is one of the most expensive components of our society. Why not take our skills as engineers and design something that is profoundly needed in the medical world."

Khan's hope is the collaboration will eventually lead to constructing a robot that can assist with in-home care of an elderly patient, such as reminding the person when to take medication. The robot also would give relief to caregivers, allowing them to go about their daily activities knowing their loved one is being cared for.

Between the four universities participating in the panel discussion, faculty members have proficiency in nanotechnology, man-machine interfacing, biological sensors, body area networks, microwave ablation and wireless power. A second panel discussion already has been determined for Sept. 25.

The Engineers in Medicine and Biology Society is part of the Kansas City section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an organization that is considered the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology.