Building : Bâtiment 4, Étage 0

Office : 1.45

Phone : +33 4 67 41 86 78

Fax : +33 4 67 41 85 00

Email :

Status : Permanent

Short Bio.

I'm currently Associate Professor at the Robotics Department of the LIRMM Lab., University of Montpellier (UM). My research and teaching interests are computer assisted medical interventions and sensor based control for robotic manipulators. In this topic, I serve as a guest lecturer at Central-Supélec since 2010. Since the beginning of my career (2008), I regularly supervises Master thesis and co-supervises Doctoral thesis and Post-docs. I'm also co-organizer with P. Poignet of the European Summer Schools in Surgical Robotics since 2013.

About my Ph.D. Thesis

From October 2001 until September 2006, I was a Ph.D. student and researcher at the Robotics Lab. of Paris (LRP) - Paris 6 University, Paris, France,  I great lab to work at!

The main results of this work are:

  • Design of a force controlled laparoscopic surgical robot without distal force sensing ;
  • Force control of kinematically constrained manipulators (defective robots) using the passivity approach ;
  • Validation of the force control scheme during in-vivo and in-vitro experiments ;
  • Force feedback teleoperation of the designed surgical robot.

About my Post-Doc

From October 2006 until August 2008, I was a Post doctoral Fellow at the TIMC-IMAG Laboratory (CAMI team) - Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France. Really a great lab to work at too!

Within the CAMI team, I was involved in several robotic projects, mainly in the area of interventional radiology and image guided percutaneous interventions.

The main results of these projects are:

  • Design and control of a CT and MR-compatible puncture robot;
  • Design of an Ultrasound-Guided Robotic Brachytherapy Needle-Insertion System.

Current research activities (Under construction)

Gesture learning, training and evaluation

  • PhD Fabien Despinoy (CAMI Labex, Collaboration between LIRMM and LTSI Rennes)
  • Post-doc Gustavo Gil (CAMI Labex, Collaboration between LIRMM and LTSI Rennes)
  • PhD mobility of Miss Juie Walker (Chateaubriand) Collaboration with Pr. Allison Okamura (Charm Lab. Stanford Uni.) Sep 2017-March 2018

Design and control of medical devices

Robotized Flexible Ureteroscopy and Active Vision-Based Physiological Motion Compensation

  • CIFRE PhD Thesis D. Cavard (2015/18)
  • Supervisors : Philippe Poignet & Nabil Zemiti
  • Medical Collaborators CHU Nîmes: Stéphane Droupy Armand Chevrot
  • Industriel Partners: Sterlab (Groupe MxM)
  • CE marked robot in May 2018

Medical and surgical gestures guidance

  • Augmented Reality Assistance for Robotized Tumor Resection Gesture: applications to ENT and digestive surgeries
    • PhD Thesis Jun Shen (2015-2019) - Labex CAMI
    • Supervisors : Philippe Poignet & Nabil Zemiti & Jean-Louis Dillenseger (LTSI, Univ. Rennes)
    • Medical Collaborators/Supervisors : Renaud Garrel PU-PH (ENT Department, CHU Montpellier) & Philippe Rouanet PU-PH (ICM Val d’Aurelle, Montpellier)
    • Medical collaborators/Master students: L. Abramovici & A. Viquesnel (ENT Department, CHU Montpellier), Ch.Taoum ICM Val d’Aurelle, Montpellier)
  • Optimisation of fusion Imaging for real-time US with CT for intracochlearnavigation (OPTIFUSION Project 2018-2021)
    • PhD Thesis Lucas Lavenir
    • Funded by "Agir pour l'Audition" Foundation
    • Supervisors: Philippe Poignet & Nabil Zemiti
    • Medical collaborator/Supervisor: Frederic Venail, PU-PH, ENT Dep. CHU Montpellier
  • Robot-assisted CMF surgery (coming soon) (MedMax1 & Medmax2  Projects 2017-2019)
    • Funded by "Gueules Cassées" Foundation
    • Supervisors: Philippe Poignet & Nabil Zemiti
    • Medical collaborators/Master students: Dr. A. Damécourt & Dr. M De Boutray (CMF Department– CHU Montpellier)
  •  Augmented Reality-based Shoulder Surgery Gesture Guidance
    • Supervisors: Philippe Poignet, Nabil Zemiti & Gérard Subsol
    • Medical Collaborator/Supervisor: Pr B. COULET, M.D; Ph.D (Service de Chirurgie de la Main, du Membre Supérieur
      CHU Lapeyronie, UFR Médecine, UM)
    • Medical collaborator/Master student: Dr. P-E Chammas (Resident in Orthopedic surgery - CHU Montpellier)
  • TACTIL Project : Artificial palpation elastography for increased perception in transoral tongue base cancer surgery
    • PhD Thesis of Laure Koebel (ISite Muse - UM) 2018-2021
    • Supervisors: Yassine Haddab & Nabil Zemiti
    • Medical Collaborator/Supervisor: Pr. Renaud Garrel, PU-PH, ENT Dep. CHU Montpellier

Clinical & Industrial Collaborations

  • Montpellier-Nîmes Medical School (NFM)
  • Montpellier & Nîmes Medical Hospitals,
  • Montpellier Cancer Institute (ICM Val d’Aurelle)
  • Sterlab Company (MxM Group)
  • ...

Clinical collaborations

  • “Conception d’un porte-endoscope dédié à la chirurgie endonasale” (Dr. V. Trevillot, financement CHU Montpellier/ARS, 2011-2012).
  • “Etude des conflits instrumentaux en chirurgie ORL et cervico-faciale à assistance robotique” (chirurgie des cancers des voies aériennes supérieures et la chirurgie de la glande thyroïde, Dr. J. Lassave, financement ARS, 2013-2014).
  • “Guidage par réalité augmentée en chirurgie transorale robot-assistée des cancers de base de langue” (Dr. L. Abramovici, financement SFORL, 2014-2015).
  • “Fusion d'images d'échographie haute fréquence et micro scanner pour navigation intra cochléaire” (Dr. M. Akkari, financement Labex CAMI, 2014-2015),
  • “Réalisation et validation anatomique et mécanique d'un modèle physique de base du crâne pour l'entraînement aux procédures chirurgicales endoscopiques sinusiennes.” (DR. V. Favier, co-encadrement avec l’équipe ICAR, financement  ARS, 2015-2016)
  • “Chirurgie de la base de langue par voie transorale robot assistée sous guidage ultrason et réalité augmentée” (Dr. A. Viquesnel, financement fondation ARC, 2016-2017).
  • Christophe Taoum 2017-2018
  • Arnaud Damécourt 2017-2018 Foundation Gueules Cassées
  • Marie De Boutray 2018-2019 Foundation Gueules Cassées
  • Pierre-Emmanuel Chammas 2018-2019 MOVEO Foundation & bourse de la SOFCOT & financement CHU Montpellier/ARS,

Clinical topics & approches

  • Urology, Digestive, ENT (Ear surgery & Tongue surgery), Cranio-Maxillo-facial, Interventional radiology, Cancerology & encology, Orthopedic, Microsurgery, …


Publication List

My publication list can be found here


International patent N° : PCT WO 2005/067804 A1 ;

  • Date of Publication: 28th July 2005 ;
  • Title: Trocar device for the passage of the surgical instrument ;
  • Inventors: G. Morel and N. Zemiti .

International patent N° : PCT WO 2010/012748 A1 ;

  • Date of Publication: 4th February 2010 ;
  • Title: Modular surgical tool ;
  • Inventors: P. Cinquin,  J.C. Avila Vilchis, N. Zemiti and A.H. Vilchis Gonzalez.

Past research projects (since 2008)

  • Araknes (FP7 UE project - 05/2008 - 04/2012)
  • UScomp (ANR ContInt - 03/2009 - 02/2012 )
  • ROBACUS (ANR TecSan - 03/2012 - 08/2016)


Surgical and Medical Robotics, Sensor-based gesture guidance, Force control, Augmented reality, Medical device design, ...

Last update on 20/12/2018