Consortium

Università degli Studi di Verona (coordinator) (UNIVR)

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The University of Verona is one of the largest universities in the North-East of Italy, with a fast-growing and highly-ranked School of Science. Its Department of Computer Science is a young department established in the year 2000, and today it has already more than 40 faculties. The research activities of the department attracted funding from a number of EU projects, the Italian National Research Council, the Italian Ministry for Research and Education, and industrial companies (including local SMEs).

The research in EuRoSurge is based at the Robotics Laboratory ALTAIR, which has a decade long history of research on autonomous and tele-operated systems for service robotics and computer assisted surgery. In particular, researchers have addresses automatic medical image segmentation, modeling deformable objects, and fast computational algorithms for simulation. Task planning and execution methods have been studied in the context of semi-autonomous surgical procedure. New haptic human-robot interfaces have developed and tested with high performance hardware and human perception experiments. Finally, dedicated software/hardware architectures, optimal controls, and sensor processing have been developed for high performance surgical robots.

UNIVR is the coordinator of EuRoSurge. Its role on the project is to develop a modular architecture for surgical robots.

Website: http://metropolis.sci.univr.it/

Contact:

Prof. Paolo Fiorini
Phone: +39 045 802-7963
paolo.fiorini@univr.it

Politecnico di Milano, Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering (POLIMI)

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Politecnico di Milano, founded in 1863, is the biggest Engineering and Architecture University in Italy. Research activity is carried out in 16 Departments. The Department of Bioengineering hosts 32 permanent faculty members, 3 temporary research assistants, 11 technical and administrative staff, 45 PhD students, 30 research fellows.

The Bioengineering department is involved in EuRoSurge with its Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory (NearLab). The main focus of the Medical Robotics group in this lab is on localization systems, image processing, ANN, computer assisted surgery technologies and systems. The research topics encompass development of technological platforms as well as of dedicated clinical systems and methods for surgical navigation in orthopedics and robot assisted neurosurgery. The focus of the Neuroengineering group is on motor control, bioartificial interfaces, neuroprostheses and robotic assisted rehabilitation. The lab is equipped with localization systems, industrial and surgical robots (Pathfinder, Mars), a KUKA LWR4+, workstations. POLIMI is part of the “Centro per la ricerca in Chirurgia Robotica Sperimentale (CCRS – Centre for the Research in Robotic Experimental Surgery)”, which was established in 2011 with the purpose of carrying out research in the robot assisted surgery in a clinical setting, mixing the knowhow and application driven skills of Politecnico di Milano (Bioengineering dept., NearLab lab.) (POLIMI), Università di Verona, Computer Science dept., Altair Lab) (UNIVR) and Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata di Verona (AOUI). CCRS premises are located in the AOUI in Verona. CCRS is equipped with two real functional operating rooms.

Within the EuRoSurge project POLIMI will lead WP1 (Player identification and language definition) aimed at identifying the robotics and cognitive science laboratories doing research in surgery and develop the methods to define a common lexicon, inclusive of taxonomy and ontology.

Website: http://www.nearlab.polimi.it/

Contact:

Elena De Momi, Ph.D.
Phone: +39 02 2399 9017
elena.demomi@polimi.it

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, University (KIT-U)

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The Medical Group of the Institute for Process Control and Robotics (megi) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is doing research on various medical areas. The research activities are focused on surgical robots and augmented reality. Specific topics as part of the diagnostic and therapeutic workflow are imaging, image processing, operation planning, medical robotics and intraoperative visualization.

In the EuRoSurge project KIT is the leader of the work package III ‘Validation Procedures and Benchmarks for Cognitive Surgical Robotics’. Especially duringsurgery, a variety of safety measures has to be considered. To ensure that a specific architecture meets all safety specifications, it is important to run through a verification process. In contrast to random testing, we are focusing at formal methods. Formal methods are mathematically based techniques especially adapted for specification, design and verification of systems (software as well as hardware) since they can guarantee the elimination of certain design errors. We are evaluating the use of formal methods in the context of surgical robotics by analyzing a case study developed during the EuRoSurge Project.

Website: http://rob.ipr.kit.edu/english/265.php

Contact:

Dr. rer. nat Jörg Raczkowsky
phone: +49 721 608-44052
rkowsky@ira.uka.de

University of Bremen (UNI-HB)

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At the University of Bremen more than 16,000 scholars and scientists are working on cutting edge research in twelve different faculties, six cross-faculty high-profile areas, and numerous smaller research profile networks. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, featuring several hundred students and staff, is nationally and internationally renowned for high-quality research. Robotics has been an integral part of the department’s research agenda for many years.

Since 2002, the eighteen scientists and PhD students that form the University’s Robotics Research Group are dedicated to basic research in the area of robotics. Under the scientific leadership of Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchner, the Robotics Research Group develops methods that enable robotic systems to be self-aware and autonomous. Together with application oriented research institutes like the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center, these methods are the basis for innovative robotic solutions in a number of application areas, among which medical robotics plays an increasingly important role.

The Robotics Research Group is able to contribute a thorough knowledge of the technological foundations, developments, and technical constraints that are important for the field of medical robotics.

Role in EuRoSurge: Development of cognitive concepts in robotic surgery.

Website: http://robotik.dfki-bremen.de/en/welcome.html

Scientific leader Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchner

Contact:

Dr.-Ing. Thomas Vögele
Phone: +49 / 421 / 178 45 – 4130
thomas.voegele@dfki.de

Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC)

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The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is an interdisciplinary research center focused on bioengineering and nanomedicine, based in Barcelona.

IBEC is a non-profit private foundation established at the end of 2005 by the Ministries of Innovation, Universities and Enterprises and Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia), by the University of Barcelona (UB) and by the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). The institute establishes close links with international research centers, universities, hospitals and industry to exchange talent and develop and execute projects. It currently has 15 research groups and 250 researchers and staff from 20 different countries. IBEC’s groups and their activities are organized into six research programs: Cellular Biotechnology, Biomechanics and cellular biophysics, Nano biotechnology, Biomaterials, Medical signals and instrumentation, Robotics and biomedical imaging.

The IBEC’s team involved in the EuRoSurge coordinated action is responsible for the survey of the non-technical roadblocks affecting the design and development of cognitive surgical robots.

Website: http://www.ibecbarcelona.eu/component/option,com_jresearch/Itemid,83/id,15/task,show/view,team/

Contact:

Prof. Alicia Casals
Phone: +34 934 020 517
alicia.casals@upc.edu

Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)

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The Neural Information Processing Group of Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary (NIPG) is a multidisciplinary team of mathematicians, programmers, computer scientists and physicists. The supervisor of the group is Andr·s Lırincz. He has acted as the Principal Investigator of several successful international projects in the fields of hardware-software co-synthesis, image processing and human-computer collaboration.Research of the group focuses on distributed intelligent systems and their applications in neurobiological and cognitive modeling.

In the project EuroSurge we develop a community platform called “Robotic Surgepedia” that aims to take advantage of collective intelligence and is fostered by machine recommendation systems to support EUROSURGE to reach its ambitious goals.

Website: http://nipg.inf.elte.hu/

Contact:
Prof. Andras Lorincz
Phone: (36-1) 372-2500 / 8347
lorincz@inf.elte.hu

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Boston Veteran Administration Research Institute), and Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery Laboratory (Harvard University)

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Boston Veteran Administration (VA) Research Institute (BVARI) was established in 1990 to conduct, promote and support the medical research and education activities of the VA Boston Healthcare System and to advance the well being of veterans and the general public by these endeavors. BVARI is a non-profit, tax-exempt institute and it handles Harvard University non-NIH grants. BVARI establishes collaborative endeavors with universities, for profit companies, hospitals, charitable foundations, professional societies, the Public Health Service, or other governmental agencies, and other non-profit  entities. The Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery Laboratory (MRCAS) of Harvard University (HU) mission is to develop next generation of medical robotic technology for model-guided surgery, interventions, simulation, planning and training/education. MRCAS coordinates the research between Harvard Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and BVARI.

BVARI and HU support and conduct extramural research and educational activities in the following areas of interest: Psychology, Cardiovascular/Diabetes, Arthritis/Bone Metabolism (Osteoporosis), Respiratory Disease, Neuroscience, Hepatitis, Infectious Diseases, Ophthalmology (Retinal Implantable Prothesis), Oncology/Vaccines (Multiple myeloma), Outcomes Research & Informatics, Wellness.

In EuRoSurge the expertise of BVARI helps in the integration of the surgical context with the robotic one.

Website: http://bvari.org/default.aspx;  http://hms.harvard.edu/

Contact:

Prof. Marco Zenati

Marco_Zenati@hms.harvard.edu