Workshop Hamlyn Symposium 2013


Hamlyn Symposium 2013


Although patient safety in all types of surgery seems an obvious concept, the close examination of patient safety in the specific case of robotic surgery raises a number of concerns. The validity of these concerns is demonstrated by the steady growth of lawsuits brought against the manufacturer of surgical robots by patients injured during robot-assisted procedures. Safety in surgical procedures involving high technology devices is a system issue that cannot be solved by optimizing only one, or few, elements involved in the procedure. The optimal balance may be achieved by a combination of factors, including technology management, training, logistics, and concentration of robotic procedures into centers of excellence. In this workshop, we will summarize results and on going discussions within some of the EU-funded projects in robotic surgery, such as SAFROS, STIFF-FLOP, Active and µRalp. Speakers from surgical, industrial and technology areas have been invited to present their points of view, and to provide position statements from the different areas. Other participants will be gathered through a call for contributions, to present successful examples of safety management in surgical robotic procedures. At the end of the workshop we will prepare a report that will focus on the factors that should be accounted for in translation research from technology providers to clinical practitioner with the goal of establishing an effective cooperation paradigm among all stakeholders.


Paolo Fiorini, Department of Computer Science, University of Verona
Kaspar Althoefer, King’s College London, Department of Informatics
Prokar Dasgupta, Guys Hospital and King’s College


List of topics

The workshop will cover the following topics (but won’t be limited to):

  • System centered design in surgical robots
  • Modular surgical robots design
  • Surgical robots technology assessment
  • Safety of surgical robots
  • New approaches to safe surgical robots
  • Use cases showing new requirements (end users)
  • New paradigms in surgical robots
  • System actions for safety definitions
  • The role of the training in robotic surgery
  • Perception and haptics for robotics surgery

Motivation and objectives

Since few years, the number of International Workshops focusing on Surgical Robots have been steadily increasing:

  • ICRA 2010, “Advanced surgical service robotics in the European Union 6th and 7th Framework Programs”;
  • IROS 2011, “Methods for Safer Surgical Robotics Procedures”;
  • IROS 2011; symposium on “Medical Robotics”;
  • ICRA 2012 “Modular Surgical Robotics: how can we make it possible?”;
  • JW9 Standardization Workshop, Milan July 2012 and Stanford February 2013;
  • ES:CG2, “Robots in Medical Applications”, March 2013;
  • ERF2013, “Technology Transfer and Innovation in Robotic Surgery” and
  • ICRA2013, “Effectiveness and acceptance of robots in surgery”.

However, none of these workshops has addressed robotic surgery as a “system”, analyzing the implications of each element of the chain from diagnosis to intervention, on the success of the complete procedure. Only a patient centered design that can really take advantage of robotic surgery and, by balancing out the various shortcomings, can ensure the highest safety level to the patient. The objective of the workshop is thus to bring together young and senior scientists, company developers and end users to bridge the existing gaps between technologies and their application in a “real system”. Through the workshop, the end users will have the possibility to present practical requirements of their daily activities, while engineers and scientists will be able to share their latest ideas for the benefit of patients (better outcome, less risks and pain, faster recovery and better cosmetic results) and surgeons (ergonomy of the master stations, realistic sensory/haptics feedback and virtual environment for training). The envisaged presentations are supposed to cover all these aspects, from new approaches to surgical robots design (i.e. bio-inspiration, modularity etc.) to safety for the citizens, and benefits for companies.

Schedule of open call for submissions

April 15th Call for paper/poster
May 30th Notification of acceptance