Workshop ICRA 2013

Evaluating effectiveness and acceptance of robots in surgery: user centered design and economic factors



Paolo Fiorini,
University of Verona,
Verona – Italy

Giancarlo Ferrigno,
Politecnico di Milano,
Milano – Italy

Joerg Raczkowsky,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,
Karlsruhe – Germany

Date and Time:   Monday, May 6, 2013, 8:45 – 18:00


In the framework of the EUROSURGE Coordination Action (FP7-ICT-2011-7 288233), this workshop aims at continuing the assessment of Robotic Surgery (RS) with respect to its cost/benefits ratio, from the points of view of patient safety and economic return. The need of a clear rationale for RS has strongly emerged recently, due to the worldwide push towards cost reduction, possibly without compromising therapy results. The optimal balance may be achieved by a combination of factors, including new technologies, better training, better logistics, and concentration of robotic procedures into centers of excellence. Speakers from surgical, industrial and technology areas have been invited to explore the different points of view, and to provide position statements. Other participants will be gathered through a call for contributions, to present successful examples of RS application. A white paper will be prepared at the end of the workshop on the basis of the discussed points. The paper will focus on the factors that justify translation research from technology providers to clinical practitioner with the goal of establishing an effective cooperation paradigm among all stakeholders to achieve the balance between technology push and clinical pull that optimizes RS cost/benefit ratio.

List of topics

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

  1. User centered design in surgical robots
  2. Modular surgical robots design
  3. Surgical robots technology assessment
  4. Standardization of surgical robots
  5. New approaches to surgical robots for increased clinical uptake (bio-inspired, autonomous, …)
  6. Use cases showing new requirements (end users)
  7. Exploitation barriers to surgical robots
  8. Coordination actions for requirements definitions
  9. The role of the training in robotic surgery clinical uptake
  10. Ethical and legal issues

Motivation and objectives 

The International Workshop on Medical Robots, held in Milan on July 3rd 2012, promoted by the joint standardization working group of IEC SC 62A and ISO/TC 184/SC 2 on ‘Medical electrical equipment and systems using robotic technology (Medical robots)’ discussed the following points: the surgical robot cost effectiveness has to be proven, at least for specific kinds of surgery; to increase acceptability and effectiveness, new devices, inspired by nature and endowed with cognitive capabilities, should be proposed to step further.  As a matter of fact, surgical robotics is more than 30 years old, nevertheless the turnover of new systems in terms of product and/or company failures is still high and the clinical uptake still limited. Main critical points are safety, usability and cost/benefit ratio. Only a user centered design and applications that really need and can take advantage of robotic surgery can effectively enter and remain in the healthcare market. 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 technology push and end users pull. Through the workshop, the end users will have the possibility to present practical requirements of their daily activities, while technological 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 feedback and virtual environment for training). The envisaged presentation are supposed to cover all these aspects, from new approaches to surgical robots design (i.e. bio-inspiration, modularity etc.) to the cost effectiveness for the healthcare providers, to effectiveness for the citizens, and benefits for companies. Possible coordination actions for examining these aspects in more detail will also be discussed.

Invited Speakers:

  • Arianna Menciassi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa – Italy
  • Cameron Riviere, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg – PA – USA
  • Elena De Momi, Politecnico di Milano, Milano – Italy
  • Alicia Casals, Institute for bioengineering of Catalonia, Barcelona – Spain
  • Joerg Raczkowsky, KIT, Karlsruhe – Germany
  • Guang-Zhong Yang, Imperial College, London – UK
  • Patrick Finlay, Medimaton, Beaconsfield – UK
  • Simon Di Maio, Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale – CA – USA
  • Thomas Neff, Kuka Laboratories, Augsburg – Germany
  • Alberto Arezzo, University of Torino, Torino – Italy

This workshop is supported by IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Robotics and Automation.



Time Talk
08:45 – 09:00


Introduction and motivation (organizers)

The academic research perspective

09:00 – 09:20

09:20 – 09:40

09:40 – 10:00

10:00 – 10:30

10:30 – 10:50

10:50 – 11:10

11:10 – 11:30

11:30 – 11:50


11:50 – 12:05

12:05 – 12:20

12:20 – 12:35

12:35 – 12:50

Experience at University of Verona (Paolo Fiorini)

Surgical robotics at Carnegie Mellon (Cameron Riviere)

Brain mapping in robotic interventions (Elena De Momi)

Coffee Break

Surgical robotics at Imperial College (Guang-Zhong Yang)

Complexity-performance and usability of surgical robots (A. Casals)

Surgical robots: compact design and bio-inspiration (A. Menciassi)

Surgical robotics at KIT, the OP sense platform  (J. Raczkowsky)

Submitted contributions session

Ergonomics of User Interfaces (Giacinto Barresi – IIT – Italy)

TOF Guided Endoscope Navigation (S.Haase, Univ. Erlangen – DE)

US Guided Robot for Orthopedics (P.Goncalves  IDMEC – Portugal)

Bio-inspired RMIS (H. Wurdemann – King’s College, London, UK)

12:50 – 14:00


14:00 – 14:20

14:20 – 14:40

14:40 – 15:00

Lunch Break

The industry perspective

The case of Intuitive Surgical (Intuitive representative)

Solutions for robotics surgery (Patrick Finlay)

Medical Robotics a KUKA Laboratories (Thomas Neff)


15:00 – 15:30

15:30 – 16:00

16:00 – 17:45

17:45 – 18:00

The medical doctors perspective

Surgical  robotics practice (Alberto Arezzo)

Coffee Break

Panel discussion

Workshop conclusions and wrap up

18:00 End