Micro-Robotics for Surgery

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Institute for Global Health

Abstract

As minimally invasive surgery is being adopted in a wide range of surgical specialties, there is a growing trend in precision surgery, focussing on early malignancies with minimally invasive intervention and greater consideration on patient recovery and quality of life. This requires the development of sophisticated micro-instruments integrated with imaging, sensing, and robotic assistance for micro-surgical tasks. This facilitates management of increasingly small lesions in more remote locations with complex anatomical surroundings. The proposed programme grant seeks to harness different strands of engineering and clinical developments in micro-robotics for precision surgery to establish platform technologies in: 1) micro-fabrication and actuation; 2) micro-manipulation and cooperative robotic control; 3) in vivo microscopic imaging and sensing; 4) intra-operative vision and navigation; and 5) endoluminal platform development. By using endoluminal micro-surgical intervention for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, lung and breast cancer as the exemplars, we aim to establish a strong technological platform with extensive industrial and wider academic collaboration to support seamless translational research and surgical innovation that are unique internationally.

Planned Impact

The project addresses effective healthcare impact partnership for device design and innovation. It will catalyse cross fertilisation of the academic disciplines involved with tangible contributions to knowledge transfer and potential clinical impact.

Impacts on Knowledge and Economy
The proposed project addresses an important clinical challenge in precision medicine with well-recognised social-economic values. Knowledge transfer and clinical translation with tangible healthcare outcomes would be an important focus of the project. It is expected that the technologies developed could have significant commercial impact on medical robotics. In addition to publications in respected academic journals and conferences, IPR will be reviewed at each milestone stage and any intellectual property arising will be protected and exploited via Imperial Innovations and in coordination with recommendations from the RSG (Research Steering Group) and EPSRC guidelines. The RSG will also provide critical review and management/technical recommendations to the team, and establish effective dissemination routes to academic and industrial communities. We will work with all stakeholders to identify potential opportunities for public dissemination and commercial exploitation throughout the duration of the project.

Impacts on People
The research staff of this project, particularly those early career researchers, will be encouraged to spearhead and take ownership of blue-sky idea generation with direct clinical interaction. The programme grant will significantly expand the capacity of the research team and create a unique environment involving both engineering and clinical researchers to work in an integrated research environment seamlessly linking different strands of research challenges. By leveraging the flexibility of funding provided by the programme grant, we will empower early career researchers to stimulate creative and adventurous research to ensure the research programme stays at the cutting edge of medical robotics internationally. Secondment to industrial collaborators and clinical partners will be arranged and staff will be encouraged to attend personal and career development workshops and courses provided by the Learning and Development Centre of Imperial College to develop the necessary managerial, vocational and entrepreneurial skills for career progression.

Impacts on Health
The project addresses some of the major issues in healthcare. It tackles the important issue of increased accuracy for cancer detection and direct therapeutic targeting of appropriate pathology. Through the clinical collaborators and industrial partners, the technologies developed will be introduced to patients and clinical communities throughout the development cycle. In partnership with Imperial IGHI's Centre for Health Policy, cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted to demonstrate cost effectiveness of the technologies to the NHS.

Communications, Engagement and Society
The project team will actively seek opportunities to showcase the project outcomes in public engagement events, such as Imperial Festival, Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, and organising international workshops and conferences, including our flagship event of Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, as well as the International Challenge on Surgical Robotics. In addition, the project will work with the UK-RAS Network for broader engagement of the research community and general public. We will work closely with Imperial's IGHI media team to use public lectures/exhibitions to maximise the potential impact of the project and its public engagement to ensure interaction with and exposure of our work to school children, who may wish to pursue a career in robotics.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description A custom fibre draw tower was constructed by the team for multi-material fibre production. This has enabled the creation of advanced prototype fibres for medical robotics. A steerable catheter has been developed that will enable dexterous movement within the surgical workspace. The i2snake has been advanced to remove motors from the shaft of the robot, replacing them with narrow bore tendons that enable the diameter of the robot to be reduced whilst increasing its manoeuvrability and increasing force transmission.


Update 2019:
Fibre tower was further developed to create helical channels in the fibre which overcomes some of the challenges of tendon driven catheters. 3D printing technology was introduced to improve preform fabrication of various materials (including smart materials) and geometries to draw fibre robots from. 2 patents filed along these developments. Removal of material by laser ablation was utilized to create patterns on fibres making the fibre very flexible to be steered by tendons, and the process resulted in another patent application.

The i2snake which forms the proximal part of our nested robot is further advanced resulting in 2 different versions with different dimensions (length and radius), dexterity and degrees of freedom targeting different applications in surgery.

A wet transfer process our team developed allows very thin sensors (such as pressure sensors or biosensors) and other thin structures built externally to be transferred with micron precision onto fibres adding these functionalities to the fibres without much increase in thickness.
Sensors on a single layer graphene inside which is embedded inside a 3D printed micro-cage with ability to trap the bacteria are manufactured to enhance capacity of our sensors.

A probe based Confocal Laser Endomicroscope (pCLE) our team advanced allows getting microscope like images from the end face of bundles of fibres in higher speed, higher resolution and at different colours allowing to see different morphologies simultaneously.

On a micro scale, a piston is created that can be moved in the order of tens of microns (fraction of the thickness of a hair) and such controlled motion will be utilized in active micro-grippers.

The team has developed the building blocks of the fibre robot mentioned above and is working on integration of these blocks towards a steerable fibre robot that will have improved sensing and imaging capacity compared to current state of art to reach and interrogate distal ends of lumens of the body.
Exploitation Route This project has the potential to bring many innovations to surgical robotics as it is taking a new approach of developing advanced fibres with integrated actuation, sensing and imaging capabilities. These platform technologies will be applicable to many domains throughout robotics and surgery.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Construction,Electronics,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Title Bacteria cage 
Description A cage 3D printed by nanoscribe technology able to trap and accumulate bacteria. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact A cage structure enhancing biosensing for the detection of bacteria such as motile bacteria. 
 
Title Controlled drug delivery and sensing 
Description We are developing a system with controllable local drug delivery and sampling combining multimaterial fibres, microfluidics, sensor technologies. Researchers with significant contribution: Antoine Barbot, Salzitsa Anastasova, Haijie Tan, Mohamed Abdelaziz, Burak Temelkuran. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact New to have impact, potential use for minimally invasive biopsy and controlled drug delivery. 
 
Title Fibre based force sensing micro-gripper using Two Photon Polymerization printing 
Description 2-photon polymerization is used to produce a tethered, 3D, compliant grasper with integrated force sensing, the entirety of which is fabricated on the tip of an optical fiber. Optical interferometry combined with artificial neural networks facilitate real-time force estimation during manipulation tasks. Researchers contributed significantly to this project: Maura Power, Alex J. Thompson, Salzitsa Anastasova. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Such grippers could prove useful for the interrogation of biological microstructures such as alveoli, villi, or even individual cells. 
 
Title Fibre based probes with TPP 
Description Fibre-based Raman probe and optical tweezer are developed. Integration micro optics on tip of optical fibres (100 ~ 200 um dia.) built by two-photon polymerisation technique, as well as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) structures printed. Researchers with significant contribution: Jang Ah Kim, Maura Power, Salzitsa Anastasova. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Minimally invasive in vivo diagnosis and precise manipulation of cells and drug particles. 
 
Title Fibre preform fabrication using 3D printing technology 
Description Ability to use 3D printer to print preforms from which fibres will be drawn. Allows introduction of multiple materials and in ways that is not possible by other techniques especially in longitudinally asymmetric structures - patent filed. Researchers with significant contribution: Mohamed Abdelaziz, Burak Temelkuran 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Tapered fibres, fibres with active elements inherintly present at the tip of a fibre device. 
 
Title Steerable fibre robot 
Description New fibre manufacturing techniques, novel materials, MEMS are investigated to introduce steerability to fibre catheters. Researchers with significant contribution: Mohamed Abdelaziz, Burak Temelkuran, Salzitsa Anastasova, Michail Kiziroglou. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Ability to steer a fibre with small dimensions will allow our robot to reach distal ends of the lumens of the human body which is among the main goals of this project. 
 
Title Surface Tension for Micro-Gripper Pneumatic Actuation 
Description The pistons are fabricated using two-photon polymerization (2PP), and they have an actuation around 20 microns The gas / liquid interface, which occurs around the circumference of the piston, creates a seal that can withstand a pressure of up to 200 mbar. The piston is actuated in an aqueous environment, with the pushing force generated by a microfluidic pump connected to the capillary tube. This design employs one physical phenomenon that works well across scales (pressure induced force) and another that is most prevalent at the microscale (surface tension). 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This design employs one physical phenomenon that works well across scales (pressure induced force) and another that is most prevalent at the micro-scale (surface tension). The proposed actuator could, in the future, serve as the basis for designing tethered micro-surgical tools, such as micro-grippers or local drug delivery systems. 
 
Title fibres with sensors 
Description Low profile fibres with various sensors are developed to interrogate the target region with biofouling prevention. Researchers with significant contribution: Salzitsa Anastasova, Mohamed Abdelaziz, Burak Temelkuran. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Early, easy and low cost detection of disease / infection. 
 
Title flexible continuum robot 
Description We are developing several techniques to make a flexible continuum robot from metal structures to polymers with outer diameters around 2mm and inner diameters around 1.4mm or several smaller channels to guide multiple instruments. Laser cutting of nitinol and polymeric fibre drawing and laser machining are methods developed. Researchers with significant contribution to this project: Ning Liu, Mohamed E. M. K. Abdelaziz, Mali Shen, Burak Temelkuran. Update 2019: Laser paterning of polymer fibres achieved flexible tips for fibre diameters as small as 1 mm. A patent is filed (2018). With plastic or glass based tendons, braiding performed inhouse, the resulting fibre catheter reached commercial level, with flexibility of material introduction for MR visibility and other features. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Part of the work is presented this year in conference. 
 
Title i2snake 
Description newly designed continuum robot with increased the stability and size of the working channels, an improvement to the existing iSnake. Researchers with significant contribution: Pierre Berthet-Rayne, Andreas Schmitz. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Significant reduction in size and cost compared to similar medical robots. 
 
Title micro-robots 
Description Control and fabrication of optically-driven micro-robots for cell manipulation. Researchers with significant contribution: Maria Grammatikopoulou, Salzitsa Anastasova 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Application of developed methodologies for single cell analysis, including cell manipulation, cell property characterization and cell assembly. 
 
Title multi-material multi-functional fibres 
Description Methods to fabricate fibres with smart materials, various geometries and functions tailored to unmet needs of medicine. Addition of a motor driven unit allows fabrication of helical channels in a fibre for improving tendon driven structures. Researchers with significant contribution: Mohamed Abdelaziz, Salzitsa Anastasova, Burak Temelkuran. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Fibre robots for medicine, MRI compatible steerable catheters and guidewires 
 
Title pCLE with dual wavelength and increased resolution 
Description probe based confocal laser endomicroscope which our team has increased the image acquisition speed significantly to allow large area scan has now 2 added features, improved resolution by added ability to shift the bundle in micron scale, and increased detection capacity by using dual wavelength. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact It allows visibility of different morphological elements that are not always detectable by single wavelength, and with improved resolution to enable to see smaller structures and hence improves ability to identify target tissue such as cancerous ones. 
 
Description 'Biohybrid prosthetic for nerve regeneration based on multi-functional fibre' Clinical Colaboration with Renji hospital in Shanghai 
Organisation Renji Hospital
PI Contribution The Hamlyn Centre is developing a new generation of microfabrication techniques, based on multi-functional fibre could improve the rehabilitation of patient by allowing for the implants to directly reconnect severed nerves. To achieve this, the growth of cultured nervous cells along an implant axes will be induced and enhanced by the mean of topological, electrical and chemical stimulations. A unique set of techniques has been developed in the Hamlyn Centre for the fabrication, functionalisation, electrical connection and fluid delivery capability of fibre designed and realised on site. Those fibres of tuneable diameter and length can be used to meet the requirement of nerve regeneration implants. Our research teams brought our current research results regarding neuro-regeneration, robotic assisted surgery for spinal cord surgery and wearable devices to our collaborators for further discussion.
Collaborator Contribution The collaborators from Renji Hospital offered their advices to our research issues. This collaboration will be used to set up an experimental framework adapted toward our long term goal of in vivo study.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2019
 
Description MIT magnetic robots and low friction materials 
Organisation Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Our team suggesting applications for the developed magnetic as well as low friction materials MIT team developed under Prof Xuanhe Zhao.
Collaborator Contribution 3D printed magnetic materials and low friction materials.
Impact Collaboration at early stage for any output.
Start Year 2018
 
Description MicroElectroMechanical Multimaterial fibres 
Organisation Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Application of fibres to Medical Robotics and Confocal Endomicroscope
Collaborator Contribution Fabrication of fibres with piezoelectric polymers for actuation. They supported EPSRC programme grant "Micro-Robotics for Surgery" application.
Impact Multi-dicipllinary: Materials Science, Engineering, Physics, Robotics, Surgery
Start Year 2017
 
Description Multimaterial fibres for biosensing 
Organisation Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution (1) Functionalisation of fibres for bio-sensing, animal and clinical studies (2) Design and optical characterization of fibres, applications such as mass spectrometry
Collaborator Contribution Fabrication of fibres with novel metal electrodes (1) or waveguides (2)
Impact they supported EPSRC programme grant "Micro-robotics for surgery" application. Disciplines involved: Materials science, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Microbiology, Surgery
Start Year 2017
 
Description Neuro interface with multimaterial fibres 
Organisation Virginia Tech
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are working with Prof Xiaoting Jia on advancing the interface to neurons using multimaterial fibre combined with our sensor capabilities.
Collaborator Contribution Her previous work and expertise on neural interface, listening / triggering to single neuron activity with her probes.
Impact This is a multidisciplinary work of physics, chemistry and material science to advance probes for neural interface. Work ongoing,
Start Year 2018
 
Title Low temperature fibre draw tower 
Description The custom made fibre tower we built gives us the unique capacity to co-draw multiple materials with different functionalities into a single fibre for medicine. The field is new and the potential is unique, and our research spans a wide range from bio-sensors (current EPSRC programme grant) to fibre robots (new EPSRC programme grant Micro-Robotics for Surgery) 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This equipment will enable us to fabricate fibres with various integrated functionalities. In addition to optical interface with the tip of the fibre that conventional fibres offer, these multimaterial fibres allow other means of communication with the sensors at the tip, such as electrical interface with metal elements in the fibre, and fluidic interface via micro-channels, all integrated into a single fibre. These fibres will help integrate and miniaturize multiple sensors, allow drug delivery, and will significantly enhance overall functionality of our sensors in this project. The emerging field of multimaterial fibers presents exciting opportunities and has potential to create many fundamental research areas 
 
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Oral presentation at conference "Plasmonics in Biology and Medicine XVI" in SPIE Photonics West 2019 about development of SERS-on-a-tip (surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy on an optical fibre tip) probes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://spie.org/conferences-and-exhibitions/photonics-west?SSO=1
 
Description EPSRC Scientific Advisory Board & Research Steering Group Bi-annual Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Scientific Advisory Board & Research Steering Group members came to the Hamlyn Centre for participating the bi-annual meeting to examine our current research progress. Our research teams presented a series of demos as well as current progress presentation to all the members for demonstrating our works.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://twitter.com/ICLHamlynRobots/status/1088766049590394880
 
Description Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The former Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Imperial College and toured the Hamlyn Centre for Robotics, viewing demonstrations of surgical robots, 3D printed microrobotic tools and augmented reality technology for medical imaging.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/187036/former-pm-supports-lord-darzi-report/
 
Description Friends of Imperial Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Centre participated in the programme of "Friends of Imperial Visit" as one of visit destinations. Our research teams demonstrated the latest research result to the "Friends of Imperial Visit" participants and answered their questions regarding the works.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.friendsofimperial.org.uk/Media/Documents/Current_Programme.pdf
 
Description Hamlyn Centre Christmas Showcase 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Christmas Showcase was an event for collaborators and affiliates of the Hamlyn Centre that showcased the latest research outputs of the Hamlyn Centre. The aim was to communicate our research findings and encourage deeper collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hamlyn Centre Induction Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Centre Induction Day was an event for creating better connectivity within the Hamlyn team of over 80 researchers. With talks, networking activities and discussions, this event enabled MRes students, PhD students, researchers and support staff to engage and share ideas for development of Hamlyn initiatives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hamlyn Centre Official Twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Centre Official Twitter account aims to reach out all types of audiences for demonstrating our research progress and result, promoting our events and sharing relevant information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016,2017,2018
URL https://twitter.com/ICLHamlynRobots
 
Description Hamlyn Winter School on Surgical Imaging and Vision 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Winter School focuses on both the technical and clinical aspects of Surgical Imaging and Vision. Through invited lectures, hands-on demonstrations, workshops, and mini-projects, the purpose of our winter school is to help researchers familiarise with the cutting edge research of this rapidly expanding field covering key areas of:

Fundamentals and current state-of-the-art in surgical imaging;
Vision algorithms for tracking, 3D scene reconstruction and surgical navigation;
Intra-operative registration and retargeting;
Multi-modal image fusion and real-time augmented reality systems based on inverse realism;
Robot assisted large area microscopic imaging and mosaicing;
Dynamic active constraints with real-time vision;
Vision enabled surgical robot design and miniaturisation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/hamlyn-centre/news-and-events/hamlyn-winter-school-on-surgical-imaging-an...
 
Description Hamlyn Winter School on Surgical Imaging and Vision 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Winter School focuses on both technical and clinical aspects of Surgical Imaging and Vision, with invited lectures, hands-on demonstrations, workshops, and mini-projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/winterschool/
 
Description INformative talk to international students of Revolutions in Biomedicine Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Maura Power gave a talk to students taking part in the "Revolutions in Biomedicine Summer School" at Imperial College about the state of the art of microrobotics in medicine, and also discussed the published on-going work at the Hamlyn Centre (July 2018)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interactive presentation in ICRA 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We had an interactive presentation for 4 hours during the conference. We presented our work with posters and videos, and discussed with people who are interested.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Robotics Showcase 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A showcase of robotics for academia, industry and the public
The International Robotics Showcase will be part of the International Business Festival this year, and this will be held on Thursday 21st June 2018 at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, Kings Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 4FP.The full-day programme includes exclusive talks by world-renowned experts in science and technology, panel discussions, exhibitions, robot demonstrations and an award ceremony for competition winners demonstrating cutting-edge robotics innovation.

Exciting demonstrations of cutting-edge robotics technology;

Lively discussion and debate, covering ethical, legal and economic impacts of Robotics and AI;

The release of several new White Papers, covering the current research landscape in:
Urban Automation & Transport
AgriTech
The day also offers academics, industry, government organisations and the public, the opportunity to enjoy the fascinating and diverse exhibits by our sponsors, as well as provide a lively forum for discussion and discovery of some of the latest technological developments and research challenges in Robotics and Autonomous Systems.

The event will take place within the 2018 International Business Festival and a 9 day pass is included withi your registration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/uk-ras/robotics-week/showcase
 
Description Invited Talk- Prof Itaru Kitahara: 3D-CG Virtual Surgical Operation in University of Tsukuba 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our senior research fellow Dr Matina Giannarou invited Prof. Itaru Kitahara to share the experience about "3D-CG Virtual Surgical Operation in University of Tsukuba" with our researchers in the Hamlyn Centre. Prof. Itaru Kitahara is leading the Virtual Surgery research project at the University of Tsukuba, Japan and his research focuses on Computer Vision and Mixed Reality. During the talk, he not only introduced "3D CG Virtual Surgery", which aims to realise a navigation system of surgical operation using Computer Vision and AR/VR techniques, but also presented the collaboration between their research team and the medical doctors in our university regarding 3D CG Virtual Surgery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://twitter.com/ICLHamlynRobots/status/1102943972790542336
 
Description Invited Talk- Prof Jackrit Suthakorn: the past, present and future of the BART LAB 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Jackrit Suthakorn, the BART LAB executive director and the department chair of Department of Biomedical Engineering at Mahidol University, visited the Hamlyn Centre on Monday 25th January 2019. He gave a talk regarding the development of the BART LAB as well as their current research areas and progress in robotics for extreme environment as well as rehabilitation to the Hamlyn Centre researchers and members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description MARSS conference Nagoya Japan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation "Surface Tension for Micro-Gripper Pneumatic Actuation" in MARSS conference Nagoya Japan 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Materials Science for Medical Robotics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop Aims
The traditional concept of motor driven robots with mechanical transmission and computer control is still deeply rooted into our design workflow and hardware embodiment in robotics. However, exciting advances in materials science, including the development of smart materials, energy harvesting and actuation schemes, as well as the adoption of bio-inspired design principles can offer radically new ways to construct and operate robots. These are particularly relevant to the future development of medical robotics, integrating sensing, micro-scale tissue manipulation and targeted delivery. They challenge the physical limitation of mechatronics and are no longer limited by the degrees-of-freedom of traditional mechanisms. New materials that combine sensing, actuation, computation and communication offer a whole range of new opportunities for the design of new robots. New actuators made by these materials can react to its external environment by either changing their material properties or geometries and they can be electrically responsive, or react to temperature, light, magnetic field, pressure, mechanical loading or surrounding chemical properties (e.g. changes in pH). They are also sensitive to more local effects or fluctuations including surface tension, diffusion, induction pumping, ion-drag and conductive heterogeneity.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers in medical robotics and materials science to explore new research opportunities and potential synergies in the development and application of new materials for medical robotics. The workshop will include several invited talks, and we also welcome submissions from Symposium attendees.
The workshop ended with several potential collaboration discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Minister of State for Immigration Caroline Nokes MP and Cancer Research UK Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Caroline Nokes MP, Minister of State for Immigration, visited Imperial in October 2018 and took a tour of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery. She was joined by representatives of Cancer Research UK and our college president Alice Gast. During the visit, Caroline Nokes was shown some of our latest robot technology in medicine, developments which have enabled healthcare professionals to conduct smarter operations with higher precision.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/188691/immigration-minister-sees-benefits-internationalism-imperial/
 
Description Patient speaker 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact We had a patient speaker arranged with the help of Breast Cancer Now charity board member of this programme grant - Simon Vincent. The patient gave a talk which was:
- Motivational: Our young engineers always hear about survival rates, complications in surgery, infection, etc With her talk, all these are now linked to reality, and importance of their work is a lot more obvious to them. Anna's talk was quite motivative for the team.
- Inspiring: Anna being a researcher especi
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Professor Daniel Elson: Lighting Up The Operating Theatre 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Professor Daniel Elson, our Hamlyn Centre Director of Studies, talked through a career that has mirrored the typical innovation translation pathway - from a PhD in laser physics, and time spent in the Faculty of Engineering developing imaging tools for key hole surgery, a move to the Division of Surgery saw him work directly with surgeons to begin translating those technologies into image guidance tools. He discussed progress made developing diagnostic methods and technologies, and the value of adopting a clinical, rather than purely technological driven, approach to innovation and problem solving, working with surgeons to identify challenges today and tomorrow.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOQz7HufVaQ&feature=youtu.be
 
Description School Robot Challenge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The challenge will be run jointly by any interested UK-RAS partner universities, and is aimed at teams of schoolchildren of ages up to 16 (year 11). It will be published in the UK-RAS Robotics Week 2018 brochure and on the website, and will be distributed via each participating university's local schools' network.

The challenge will consist of 2 separate activities: the first involves schools working independently to develop and then submit a design(s) for a robot system to help older people. The deadline for submissions for this activity is 18/05/2018.

The best entries will then be chosen, with one winning team selected by each participating university (the proximity of school to university may or may not influence the decision), which will then invite that team to a special one-day event on 26/06/2018 (that is, the Tuesday of UK Robotics Week). After a tour of the robot labs, the teams will be set another similar care-themed challenge using whatever basic, programmable robotics equipment is to hand (e.g., Lego Mindstorms - there is no requirement for the same equipment to be used at each university). This activity will last from 10.30am until 3.30pm with a working lunch provided, and if possible live streaming of video from the other participating sites (also shown on the UK-RAS website). The goal of each team will be to produce a smartphone video of no longer than 1 minute's duration that describes the problem, the concept and design of their suggested solution, and - hopefully - shows their solution in action.

The videos will be uploaded to YouTube or similar. A panel of judges - one from each participating university - will view each of the videos, and then confer to select an overall winning team. (Some of) the winning team will then be invited to the UK Robotics Week Showcase event on Thursday 21st June, where they will receive a prize (budget permitting) on behalf of their school.

The suggested text publicising the challenge is below. (Note that it is not intended to be as explicit as the above text to allow for some flexibility in the format to take into account the number and quality of submissions, budget available, participating universities, etc., and all dates are subject to confirmation.)


The UK-RAS Health and Social Care Challenge 2018

We invite schools to submit their designs for a robotic system that addresses the challenge of how to help older people stay healthy and live independent lives. Submissions should be the work of teams of up to 8 children aged 16 or under. Entries can be in any format, should be no longer than 1000 words (or equivalent) in length, and each school may submit an unlimited number of entries.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 18th May. The judging panel will then select the best entries, with submissions being judged according to their usefulness, practicality and creativity. The winning teams will be invited to a special one-day event on Tuesday 26th June at their nearest UK-RAS University, during which they will visit our robotics facilities to learn more about our research, and then get to develop and test their own robots.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/uk-ras/events/school-robot-challenge
 
Description School Robot Challenge at Imperial Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An interactive activity was provided at the Imperial Festival 2017, based on the School Robot Challenge organised by the Hamlyn Centre and the UK-RAS Network. This activity encouraged schoolchildren to be inspired by robotics and nature and create their own digital robotic insect. The children drew a robotic insect on paper and were then shown how to turn it into a 3D computer model.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/uk-ras/robotics-week-2018
 
Description Surgical Robot Challenge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The aim of this challenge is to exploit the unique expertise of the consortium in medical robotics to develop low-cost robot-assisted surgical and diagnostic devices that can benefit the NHS as well as be used as solutions for global health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/hsmr/events/surgical-robot-challenge-2017
 
Description Surrey University: To host the 18th TAROS 2017 as an official event of UK Robotics Week 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact TAROS is a platform for RAS researchers from worldwide, and welcomes paper submissions on a wide range of topics related to the principles and practice of robotics, including but not limited to:

Advanced applications of autonomous robots (industrial and research)
Advanced medical robotics; Robots for surgery; Assistive robotics; Intelligent prostheses
Applications development, hardware issues, devices and techniques, advanced sensors and actuators
Autonomous assembly robotics; Modular reconfigurable robots; Evolutionary robotics
Autonomous vehicles; driverless cars
Bio-mimetic and bio-inspired robotics; Bio-hybrid robotic systems; Humanoid robotics
Cognitive robotics; Developmental robotics
Ethical and societal issues in robotics; Robots in education, the arts and entertainment; Personal robotics
Field robotics, Space and planetary robotics
Human-robot interaction and interfaces
Learning and adaptation
Long-term interaction and operation
Modelling and analysis of robot models
Navigation, localization, map building and path planning; Analysis of robot-environment interaction
Robot autonomy including energy self-sufficiency; Robot control architectures; Robot vision, sensing and perception
Robot communication and language
Safety, verification and validation for robotic applications
Service robotics
Soft robotics
Swarm robotics; Collective robots
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.surrey.ac.uk/taros2017
 
Description Talk at SPIE / Photonics West LASE conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Maura Power gave a talk at SPIE / Photonics West LASE conference in San Francisco, US in one of the Laser 3D Manufacturing sessions on the topic of the many different applications and fabrication approaches with two-photon polymerisation for novel microrobot designs (January 2018).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk to CNRS students and researchers at FEMTO-ST in Besançon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Maura Power delivered a talk to CNRS students and researchers at FEMTO-ST in Besançon, France about her work on "Fabrication of tethered microrobot end-effectors using two-photon polymerisation", and other related published material at the Hamlyn Centre on microrobots (December 2018).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The Hamlyn Centre Christmas Showcase 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Christmas Showcase is an event that showcased the latest research outputs form our research teams at the Hamlyn Centre. Every year we invite our collaborators and affiliates to participate this event in order to demonstrate our research findings and to discuss potential further collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
URL https://twitter.com/ICLHamlynRobots/status/1073577685488754688
 
Description The Hamlyn Centre Official Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Centre Official website aims to engage with all types of audiences for introducing our centre purpose and structure as well as our research areas and environment. On the website, we also constantly update job opportunities, event information and News from our research teams as well as the Imperial College.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/hamlyn-centre/
 
Description The Hamlyn Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics (HSMR) provides an annual forum for surgeons and engineers from across the globe, to network and explore the latest developments in medical robotics. The Symposium has been successfully conducted for the past 11 years and has become a leading international conference on medical robotics, current clinical practice and emerging technologies in robotic surgery. Every year researchers, clinicians and engineers are invited to submit papers on a range of topics covering clinical specialities in Urology, Cardiac Surgery, Neuro Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, General Surgery, Gynaecology, ENT, Orthopaedic and Paediatric Surgery. The Hamlyn Symposium is composed of a series of workshops on various clinical and technical topics and the main conference with the participants from leading medical, science and technology institutions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
URL https://www.ukras.org/hamlyn/
 
Description UK Robotics Week 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Acting autonomously or in close collaboration with humans, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) have a broad range of new and established applications. As the underlying technologies are further developed and translated from laboratory settings to real-world applications, RAS is playing an increasingly important role in the UK's economy and it's future growth.

The UK-RAS Network was established with the mission to provide academic leadership, expand collaboration with industry and integrate and coordinate activities at the EPSRC funded RAS capital facilities, Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and partner universities across the UK.

We are delighted with last year's inaugural UK Robotics Week and proud to build on its success with this year's event. The UK Robotics Week provides a spotlight on the UK's technology leadership in RAS, and engages the nation's schools, colleges and universities in developing the digital skills needed to drive the UK's future economy.

The UK Robotics Week also acts as a forum for discussion of technological, commercial, legal, ethical and social aspects of robotics. The wide range of events covered, from symposia, workshops, conferences, festivals, competitions and hackathons, contribute to a thriving programme across the country. We endeavour to provide promotion to other robotics related events in the calendar and aim to ensure robotics remains high on the government's agenda as one of the transformative technologies of the present and future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/roboticsweek2017/welcome
 
Description Workshop in the Hamlyn Symposium: Emerging Learning Techniques for Robotics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Learning is a rapidly advancing field in recent years, in terms of both methodological development and practical applications. In medical robotics, computational models are able to learn with supervision or without supervision to facilitate intricate medical interventions, i.e. cancer detection and autonomous suturing. It can implicitly capture task principles and repeat it with comparable accuracy, robustness and time-efficiency.

Whilst some of the technical challenges are still being addressed, including generative modelling, large-scale parameter optimisation, and handling heterogeneous multi-modal data with varying temporal dependencies and missing samples, its use for medical robotics has reached marked success. Examples include the use of deep learning for tissue characterisation and the use of reinforcement learning for catheter manipulation. Other applications include surgical vision, navigation, learning, adaptation and task automation.

The purpose of this workshop is to report the latest advances in the field of learning for medical robotics, addressing both original algorithmic development and new applications of deep learning.

Topics for this special issue include, but are not limited to:

Learning for surgical vision and navigation;
Learning for tissue characterisation, optical biopsy and margin assessment;
Learning for learning, adaptation and surgical task completion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ukras.org/hamlyn/workshops/emerging-learning-techniques-for-robotics/
 
Description Workshop in the Hamlyn Symposium: Focused Energy Delivery & Precision Intervention 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Accessing to human anatomy through natural orifices or small incisions (keyholes), navigating through lumens of body, medical robotics are advancing to overcome challenges associated with access and precision, allowing rapid diagnostics and precise localization of diseases of different stages. As the surgical tools you can bring to the robotic surgical site is quite limited due to space restrictions, the energy source for the precise and safe removal of these malignancies should be carefully selected to satisfy a number of criteria such as adequate target tissue interaction, critical anatomy protection, selected ablation, coagulation and even helping tissue identification. Selected energy source potentially brings further challenges associated with flexible and low-profile delivery mechanisms to be integrated with existing robotic technologies as well as with the new technologies under development.

In this workshop, we will hear from clinicians their preferred energy sources for different types of surgeries, what improvement they would like to see, and get their feedback on integration of these in robotic surgery, current state of art and their expectations from advancements in medial robotics. We will have technical talks on recent advancements in various energy sources currently used in medicine such as electrical, ultrasonic (harmonic scalpel, HIFU) and laser energies, their delivery mechanisms and the progress in integration of these technologies to medical robotics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.ukras.org/hamlyn/workshops/focused-energy-delivery-precision-intervention/
 
Description Workshop in the Hamlyn Symposium: e-skins and Advanced Materials for Soft Robotics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact There is a growing need for electronic and sensing devices that can conform to non-flat surfaces and that can accommodate mechanical motions and stresses. Such devices are needed for wearable electronics applications such as physiological monitoring of patients and athletes, but also for prosthetic devices (artificial limbs), robotics and brain-machine interfaces. There is a particular need for such electronic skins for surgical robotic devices. To introduce flexibility and stretchability, a move away from traditional materials and fabrication processes is needed.

This has given rise to the field of flexible/stretchable electronics. This workshop will cover the aforementioned aspects within the context of realising e-skins that can introduce sensing intelligence to robotics, surgical tools, artificial limbs and wearable devices.

The workshop features researchers from leading medical, science and technology institutions covering topics including clinical needs and the latest developments of sensing technologies and new materials in medical innovation and healthcare and their application to robotics. There is still great potential for advancing the state of the art, with a need for further miniaturisation, increased functionality, in situ computation and signal processing and sensing capabilities.

What are the research directions we should focus?
What are the challenges yet to be addressed?
How does the future look?

An open panel discussion will summarise these and bring the workshop to a conclusion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
URL https://www.ukras.org/hamlyn/workshops/e-skins-and-advanced-materials-for-soft-robotics/
 
Description Workshop on Human-Robot Interactions Applied to Health 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uobgz4tjq7c1ue/HSMR17_programme-FINAL.pdf?dl=0
 
Description Workshop on Image Guided Therapies 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uobgz4tjq7c1ue/HSMR17_programme-FINAL.pdf?dl=0
 
Description Workshop on Micro-Robotics and Micro-Fabrication 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uobgz4tjq7c1ue/HSMR17_programme-FINAL.pdf?dl=0
 
Description Workshop on Next Generation Continuum Robots 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uobgz4tjq7c1ue/HSMR17_programme-FINAL.pdf?dl=0
 
Description Workshop on Robotic Catheters 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uobgz4tjq7c1ue/HSMR17_programme-FINAL.pdf?dl=0
 
Description Workshop on Soft Robotics Across Scales 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uobgz4tjq7c1ue/HSMR17_programme-FINAL.pdf?dl=0
 
Description Workshop on Surgical Robotics: First in Human - What does it take? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/hsmr/surgical-robotics-first-human-what-does-it-take
 
Description Workshop on Surgical Work?ow and Process Modelling 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Hamlyn Symposium 10th anniversary on Medical Robotics, a workshop was run. This workshop was for academics, industry and show casing the latest technologies for medical robotics and latest research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uobgz4tjq7c1ue/HSMR17_programme-FINAL.pdf?dl=0