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Blake Hannaford

Robotics and Controls, Biosystems
Campus Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-2197
Research Web Page:


Before graduate study, Blake Hannaford held engineering positions in digital hardware and software design, office automation and medical image processing. At Berkeley he pursued thesis research in multiple target tracking in medical images and the control of time-optimal voluntary human movement. From 1986 to 1989 he worked on the remote control of robot manipulators in the Man-Machine Systems Group in the Automated Systems Section of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech. He supervised that group from 1988 to 1989. Since September 1989, he has been at the University of Washington in Seattle except for work at Google Life Sciences from 2014-15. He was awarded the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Early Career Achievement Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Hannaford’s currently active interests include haptic displays on the internet, surgical biomechanics and biologically based design of robot manipulators. He co-founded a spinout company, Applied Dexterity, in 2013.

He is currently splitting his time between his research collaborations and students at ECE, and the UW Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) where he is teaching and developing a new masters program in robotics: Master of Science in Technology Innovation (Robotics).

Awards and Honors

Research Projects

Recent Publications

  • Google Scholar: [ Link ] Patents via USPTO: [ Link ]
  • Miyasaka, Muneaki and Haghighipanah, Mohammad and Li, Yangming and Hannaford, Blake (2016) Hysteresis Model of Longitudinally Loaded Cable for Cable Driven Robots and Identification of the Parameters. In: 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Stockholm, Sweden. [ Link ]
  • Haghighipanah, Mohammad and Miyasaka, Muneaki and Li, Yangming and Hannaford, Blake (2016) Unscented Kalman Filter and 3D Vision to Improve Cable Driven Surgical Robot Joint Angle Estimation. In: 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Stockholm, Sweden. [ Link ]
  • Haghighipanah, Mohammad and Miyasaka, Muneaki and Hannaford, B. (2017) Utilizing Elasticity of Cable Driven Surgical Robot to Estimate Cable Tension and External Force. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. [ Link ]
  • Dzau, V.J. and Asch, D.A. and Hannaford, B. and Aggarwal, R. and Pugh, C.M. (2017) Debate on the cost of innovation in healthcare: is it too costly? BMJ Simulation and Techology Enhanced Learning, 3 (Supp 1). pp. 33-36. ISSN 2056-6697 [ Link ]
  • Li, Yangming and Li, Shuai and Caballero, David and Lewis, Andrew and Hannaford, B. (2017) Improving Control Precision and Motion Adaptiveness for Surgical Robot with Recurrent Neural Network. In: Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, Sept 25-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC. [ Link ]
  • Hannaford, B. and Rosen, J. and Friedman, Diana DW and King, H. and Roan, P. and Cheng, L. and Glozman, D. and Ma, J. and Kosari, S.N. and White, L. (2013) Raven-II: AN Open Platform for Surgical Robotics Research. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 60. pp. 954-959.