The continuous quest for miniaturization has made the science fiction vision of miniature capsule robot working inside the human body come true. At the STORM Lab, we are designing and creating mechatronic and self-contained devices to be used inside specific districts of the human body to detect and cure diseases in a non-invasive way.
Capsule robots represent a challenging paradigm for both research and learning. They embed sensors, actuators, digital intelligence, miniature mechanisms, communication systems, and power supply, all in a very small volume. Capsule robots may be autonomous or teleoperated, they can work alone or as a team, and they can be customized to fulfill specific functions. We are currently applying capsule robot technologies to early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer, and we are developing a new generation of surgical robots that can enter the patient’s abdomen by a single tiny incision. Building on these competences, we are always ready to face new challenges by modifying our capsule robots to emerging medical needs.
The STORM Lab has been founded in August 2011 by Pietro Valdastri as he moved to Vanderbilt University from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. In 2016, Pietro Valdastri moved to the University of Leeds, remaining affiliated to Vanderbilt University as Adjoint Professor. Since then, the STORM Lab operates on both sides of the Atlantic, with STORM Lab USA, directed by Keith Obstein, and STORM Lab UK, directed by Pietro Valdastri.