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The Pransky interview: Dr Howard Chizeck, founder, Olis Robotics; Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Washington

Joanne Pransky (Robotic Psychiatrist, Sonoma County, California, USA)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 17 July 2019

Issue publication date: 5 August 2019




The following paper is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business and personal experience of a prominent, robotic industry PhD and innovator regarding his pioneering efforts and his personal journey of bringing a technological invention to market. This paper aims to discuss these issues.


The interviewee is Dr Howard Chizeck, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington (UW). Professor Chizeck is a research testbed leader for the Center for Neurotechnology (a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center) and also co-director of the UW BioRobotics Laboratory. In this interview, Chizeck shares the details on his latest startup, Olis Robotics.


Howard Jay Chizeck received his BS and MS degrees from Case Western Reserve University and the ScD degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as Chair of the Department of Systems, Control and Industrial Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and was also the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Washington. His telerobotic research includes haptic navigation and control for telerobotic devices, including robotic surgery and underwater systems. His neural engineering work involves the design and security of brain-machine interfaces and the development of devices to control symptoms of essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.


Professor Chizeck was elected as a Fellow of the IEEE in 1999 “for contributions to the use of control system theory in biomedical engineering” and he was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows in 2011 for “contributions to the use of control system theory in functional electrical stimulation assisted walking.” From 2008 to 2012, he was a member of the Science Technology Advisory Panel of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Professor Chizeck currently serves on the Visiting Committee of the Case School of Engineering (Case Western Reserve University). He is a founder and advisor of Controlsoft Inc (Ohio) and also is a founder and Chair of the Board of Directors of Olis Robotics, Inc., which was established in 2013 (under the name of BluHaptics) to commercialize haptic rendering, haptic navigation and other UW telerobotic technologies. He holds approximately 20 patents, and he has published more than 250 scholarly papers.



Pransky, J. (2019), "The Pransky interview: Dr Howard Chizeck, founder, Olis Robotics; Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Washington", Industrial Robot, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 467-470.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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