Nikolai Hungr PhD, Research Engineer

Research interests | Education | Projects | Teaching | Publications

Contact Info
Links:Personal webpage
CV [English]
CV [French]
Mailing Address:Equipe GMCAO - Laboratoire TIMC-IMAG
Pavillon Taillefer - Faculté de Médecine
38706 La Tronche cedex - France

Research Interests

  • Medical robotics
  • Medical device design
  • Image-guided percutaneous needle insertion robots
  • Medical image processing


  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Université de Grenoble, Grenoble, France, January, 2014.
  • Master of Applied Science (M.ASc.) in Mechanical Engineering, UBC, Vancouver, Canada, 2008.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (B.ASc.) in Mechanical Engineering, UBC, Vancouver, Canada, 2002.



The Light Puncture Robot is a robotic system for interventional radiology under CT and MRI guidance. It is mounted to the patient's abdomen or thorax and can position, orient and insert a needle into a target chosen by the radiologist on the patient's image. It uses MRI-compatible piezoelectric motors and pneumatics and is entirely made of non-metallic parts. It can be used to enable complex needle trajectories that require high accuracy and would otherwise be very challenging to do manually. It can be used to place biopsy needles, drainage catheters, various types of cancer ablation probes and any other thin and long image-compatible needle.


PROSPER is a trans-rectal ultrasound-guided prostate brachytherapy needle insertion robot with automatic prostate motion compensation. It positions, orients and inserts brachytherapy needles into the patient's prostate in order to drop tiny radioactive seeds in place to kill the cancer. Because the soft prostate moves and deforms with each needle inserted, the PROSPER system uses the ultrasound images to track this motion and adjust the needle's depth accordingly.


The Dynamic Positioning Constraint is a concept developed during my masters thesis which acts like an active template that can allow orthopaedic surgeons to mill bone surfaces to any desired 3D shape in order to place customized bone implants. It acts as a haptic constraint, allowing the surgeon to mill anywhere except beyond the boundary defined by the 3D shape. The mechanism is based on actively positioning a hard constraint, or stopper, between two links of a robotic arm, physically constraining the links to a certain range of motion. It creates an extremely realistic feeling of hitting an invisible hard boundary.




Peer-reviewed journal papers:

  • Hungr N., Baumann M., Long J. A., Troccaz J.: "A 3-D Ultrasound Robotic Prostate Brachytherapy System With Prostate Motion Tracking." IEEE Transactions on Robotics: Volume 28(6): 1382-1397 (2012).
  • Hungr N., Long J. A., Beix V., Troccaz J.: "A realistic deformable prostate phantom for multimodal imaging and needle-insertion procedures." Medical Physics: Volume 39(4): 2031-2041 (2012).
  • Long J. A., Hungr N., Baumann M., Descotes J. L., Bolla M., Giraud J. Y., Rambeaud J. J., Troccaz J.: "Development of a Novel Robot for Transperineal Needle Based Interventions: Focal Therapy, Brachytherapy and Prostate Biopsies." The Journal of Urology: 188(4): 1369-1374 (2012).
  • Hungr N., Roger B., Hodgson A., Plaskos C.: "Dynamic Physical Constraints: Emulating Hard Surfaces with High Realism." IEEE Transactions on Haptics: 5(1): 48-57 (2012)

Peer-reviewed conference articles:

  • Promayon E., Fouard C., Bailet M., Deram A., Fiard G., Hungr N., Luboz V., Payan Y., Sarrazin J., Saubat N., Selmi S.Y., Voros S., Cinquin P., Troccaz J.: "Using CamiTK for rapid prototyping of interactive Computer Assisted Medical Intervention applications." EMBC: 4933-4936 (2013).
  • Hungr N., Fouard C., Robert A., Bricault I., Cinquin P.: "Interventional Radiology Robot for CT and MRI Guided Percutaneous Interventions." MICCAI: 137-144 (2011).
  • Hungr N., Troccaz J., Zemiti N., Tripodi N.: "Design of an ultrasound-guided robotic brachytherapy needle insertion system." EMBC: 250-253 (2009).


  • Baumann M., Hungr N., Leroy A., Troccaz J., Daanen V. "Control System and Method for Precisely Guiding a Percutaneous Needle Toward the Prostate." US Patent Application, No. 20120245455 (2012).
  • Hodgson A., Plaskos C., Hungr N.: "Dynamic physical constraint for hard surface emulation." US Patent Application, No. 12399714 (2009).

vers accueil TIMC vers accueil GMCAO