We study methods to control and navigate robot motion, particularly for medical applications. Examples include robotic radiosurgery, robotic transcranial stimulation and robotic needle placement. We are interested in approaches to detect and compensate motion and deformation, e.g., due to respiration, pulsation, or soft tissue deformation. Moreoever, we are also interested in human-robot interaction and mobile robotics. At our lab, we have a number of navigation systems (e.g., optical and electro-magnetic) and various robots (starting from 0.01 mm repeatability) to realize experimental Setups.

Selected publications

M. Schlüter, C. Otte, T. Saathoff, N. Gessert, A. Schlaefer (2019). Feasibility of a markerless tracking system based on optical coherence tomography. SPIE Medical Imaging 2019: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling. Accepted.

S.-T.Antoni, J. Rinast, X. Ma, S. Schupp, A. Schlaefer (2016). Online model checking for Monitoring surrogate-based respiratory motion tracking in radiation therapy. International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery. 11 2085-2096.

R. Dürichen, T. Wissel, F. Ernst, A. Schlaefer, A. Schweikard (2014). Multivariate respiratory motion prediction. Phys Med Biol. 59 (20), 6043-6060.

L. Richter, P. Trillenberg, A. Schweikard, A. Schlaefer (2013). Stimulus intensity for hand held and robotic transcranial magnetic stimulation. Brain Stimul. 6 (3), 315-321.

M. Heinig, U. G. Hofmann, A. Schlaefer (2012). Calibration of the motor-assisted robotic stereotaxy system: MARS. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 7 (6), 911-920.

Needle based interventions, such as biopsy or brachytherapy, require precise and safe placement of needles inside soft tissue. Robotic needle drivers and externals can support the needle insertion, but their capabilities are limited when it comes to tissue deformation.

Detecting, avoiding and compensating soft tissue deformation during needle insertion is a an ongoing research topic at our institute.

Robotics & Image Guidance for Brachytherapy


  • S. Latus, M. Lutz, C. Otte, T. Saathoff, K. Schulz, N. Frey, A. Schlaefer (2016). A setup for systematic evaluation and optimization of OCT imaging in the coronary arteries. CARS 2016 Proceedings, supplement of the International Journal of CARS [BibTex]

  • K. Schulz, C. Otte, G. Hüttmann, A. Schlaefer (2015). A Concept for Fail Safe Robotic Needle Insertion in Soft Tissue. Gemeinsamer Tagungsband der Workshops der Tagung Software Engineering Dresden, Germany 7-10. [BibTex]

  • S.-T. Antoni, C. Otte, O. Rajput, K. Schulz, A. Schlaefer (2015). Hybrid Needle Localization using Co-registered Ultrasound and OCT Imaging. In Jessica Burgner-Kahrs and Alexander Schlaefer (Eds.) Workshop Proceedings: Navigation and Actuation of Flexible Instruments in Medical Application (NAFIMA) Hamburg, Germany 24-25. [Abstract] [www] [BibTex]

  • S.-T. Antoni, C. Otte, O. Rajput, K. Schulz, A. Schlaefer (2015). Combined Ultrasound and OCT Imaging for Robotic Needle Placement. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'15) Hamburg, Germany [Abstract] [BibTex]

  • C. Otte, G. Hüttmann, A. Schlaefer (2012). Feasibiliy of optical detection of soft tissue deformation during needle insertion. SPIE Medical Imaging. [BibTex]