Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Gregory S. Fischer, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Michael A. Gennert, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Dmitry Berenson, Committee Member




The daVinci Research Kit (dVRK) is a research platform that consists of the clinical daVinci surgical robot, provided by Intuitive Surgical to Academic Institutions. It provides an open source software and hardware platform for researchers to study and analyze the current architecture and expand the capabilities of the existing technology. The line between general purpose robotics and medical robotics has segregated the two fields. A significant part of the segregation lies at the software end, where new tools and methods developed in general purpose robotics cannot make it to medical robotics in a short amount of time. This research focuses on the integration of a widely used software architecture for general purpose robotics with the dVRK with the hope of utilizing the research and development from one field to the other. As a first step towards this bridging, a motion planning framework and a dynamic simulator has been developed for the dVRK using ROS. The motion planning framework is aimed to assist the surgeon in performing task with additional safety and machine intelligence. A few use cases have been proposed as well. Lastly, a Matlab Interface has been developed that is standalone in terms of usage and provides capabilities to interact with dVRK.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Robotics Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





dVRK, assistive path planning, motion planning, ROS integration, dynamic simulation, CISST-ROS bridge