In this second of a two-part program, Todd Duncombe, Beth Kolko, and Jacob Rosen talk about open-science hardware and medical-device hacking.
Tekla Labs, a recently formed organization of UC Berkeley and UCSF graduate students, aims to lower
the barriers for doing science in low resource settings. We are developing a free online database of easy
to follow do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions for the construction of scientific laboratory equipment. Our
goal is to empower scientists at all levels all over the world (such as high school teachers, university
researchers, and independent laboratories) to build their own research infrastructure at a low cost from
locally available supplies.
Todd Duncombe received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2010. He
is currently a PhD candidate in the UC Berkeley and UCSF Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering and a
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Todd joined the Tekla Labs team in September
2010, shortly after its inception.
Beth Kolko is a Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. She is also a Founder and CEO of Shift Labs, an engineering and manufacturing company designing low cost health technologies for low resource communities.
As an academic, Beth began researching the Internet in the days of newsgroups and Lynx, and today runs the Design for Digital Inclusion (DDI) lab at UW. DDI works on technology development for resource-constrained environments. The DDI group thinks about the other five billion potential users and how technologies can help address the challenges of everyday life globally. She also runs the Hackademia Lab which builds on the idea of “non-expert innovation” as the source of disruptive technologies. She started Hackademia in an attempt to bring the habits of mind of hackers and makers into the university setting. Beth is fascinated by creativity, innovation, and how a new perspective on an old problem can be a game changer. She co-founded Shift Labs because she and her colleagues decided the medical device industry was ready for some hacker disruption.
Jacob Rosen is a professor at the Department of Computer Engineering, University of California – Santa Cruz (UCSC). His research interests focus on medical robotics, biorobotics, human centered robotics, surgical robotics, wearable robotics, rehabilitation robotics, neural control, and human-machine interface. Dr. Rosen received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University in 1987, 1993 and 1997 respectively. From 1987 to 1992 he served as an officer in the IDF studying human-machine interfaces. From 1993 to 1997 he was a research associate developing and studying the EMG based powered Exoskeleton at the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tel-Aviv University. During the same period of time he held a position in a startup company developing innovative orthopedic spine/pelvis implants. From 1997 to 2000 he was a Post-Doc at the departments of Electrical Engineering and Surgery, University of Washington while developing surgical robotic and medical simulation systems. From 2001- 2008 he served as a faculty member at the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington in Seattle with adjunct appointments with the Departments of Surgery, and Mechanical Engineering. Since 2008 he has been directing the Bionics lab at University of California – Santa Cruz (UCSC). Dr. Rosen developed several key systems in the field of medical robotics such as the Blue and the Red Dragon for minimally invasive surgical skill evaluation that is commercialized by Simulab as the “Edge”, Raven – a surgical robotic system for telesurgery, several generations of upper and lower limb exoskeletons and most recently the Exo-UL7 – a two wearable robotic systems. He is a co-author of 70 manuscripts in the field of medical robotics and a co-author and co-editor of a book entitled “Surgical Robotics – Systems, Applications, and Visions” published by Springer.