loris fletcher
50 Prescott 4808
Affiliated Department or Office
PhD Robotics, Cognition and Interaction Technologies University of Genoa - Italian Institute of Technology 2015
MS Computer Engineering University of Catania cum laude 2011
BS Computer Engineering University of Catania cum laude 2008

My research interests are in the application of robotics and computer science to enhance medicine, and particularly surgery. What gets me out of bed in the morning is the prospect of helping doctors save lives and improve the quality of life of their patients. My students and I work side-by-side with clinical collaborators to create technology that presents a tangible clinical value – for instance, making an existing surgical procedure more accurate or enabling new procedures that are not feasible with current instrumentation. Close interaction with medical doctors is a fundamental component of our research.

Prior to joining WPI I was a Ph.D. student at the Italian Institute of Technology, where I worked in the area of robot-assisted laser microsurgery. My dissertation involved the use of statistical learning techniques to model and control the creation of surgical laser incisions, with the ultimate goal of enabling superior surgical precision.

From 2015 to 2017 I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. My research focused on image-guided ear procedures.

Visit Digital WPI to view student projects advised by Professor Fichera.

See information about courses taught by Professor Fichera.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being

SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

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Scholarly Work

Professor Fichera’s research interests are in the application of robotics and computer science to enhance medicine, and particularly surgery. Close interaction with medical doctors is a fundamental component of his research.

Featured articles:

Arnold, A., & Fichera, L. (2022). Identification of tissue optical properties during thermal laser‐tissue interactions: An ensemble Kalman filter‐based approach. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 38(4), e357

Freeman, M. H., Gafford, J. B., Fichera, L., Noble, J., Webster III, R. J., & Labadie, R. F. (2022). Transeustachian Middle Ear Endoscopy Using a Steerable Distal-Camera Tipped Endoscope. Otology & Neurotology, 43(2), 206-211.

Fichera, L. (2021). Bringing the light inside the body to perform better surgery. Science Robotics, 6(50), eabf1523.

Pacheco, N. E., Gafford, J. B., Atalla, M. A., Webster III, R. J., & Fichera, L. (2021). Beyond Constant Curvature: A New Mechanics Model for Unidirectional Notched-Tube Continuum Wrists. Journal of Medical Robotics Research, 6(01n02), 2140004.

Fichera, L., Dillon, N. P., Zhang, D., Godage, I. S., Siebold, M. A., Hartley, B. I., ... & Webster, R. J. (2017). Through the eustachian tube and beyond: A new miniature robotic endoscope to see into the middle ear. IEEE robotics and automation letters, 2(3), 1488-1494.

Professional Highlights & Honors
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Associate Editor, 2020-present,

IEEE BIOROB, Associate Editor, 2022

SPIE Medical, Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling track, Best student paper award, 2021

Moruzzi Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education, Nominee (WPI), 2020

Design of Medical Devices Conference, Top ten papers that describe new medical devices, 2019

Rho Beta Epsilon Award for Excellence in Robotics Education, 2019

Best Engineering Poster Award, Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Symposium, 2017

Koh Young Investigator Scholarship, International Society for Computer Aided Surgery, 2016

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Best Paper Finalist. Best Student Paper Finalist. Best Medical Robotics Paper Finalist, 2015


Worcester Business Journal
WPI researcher awarded $600K to develop surgical robots

Robotics engineering professor Loris Fichera is advancing research to create robots that can be used to facilitate incision-free surgery. The Worcester Business Journal profiled Fichera’s work and a National Science Foundation award supporting it.


Other Inventor(s):
Kevin O’Brien, Zachary R. Boyer, Cory T. Brolliar, Benjamin G. Mart, Gregory S. Fischer, Kenneth Stafford, Thomas Carroll