Work Packages

WP1 – Player identification and language definition

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, including:

  • Creating the structure and an implementation plan for the lexicon;
  • Defining numerical data structures and symbolical attributes;
  • Identifying ontological relationships between the concepts and the entities;
  • Defining properties of implementations and (explicit or implicit) state machines, enabling model checking or other techniques that can improve/ensure dependability.

The major challenge is to make the process implementation independent, while keeping it attractive and accessible to all the researchers working in robotic surgery. More specifically defined technical terms should be put into a context by working out the typical abstractions needed for system design including Hardware Abstraction, Resource Abstraction, and Communication Abstraction. We will also define the data structures that represent the main low-level research-independent concepts. A novelty of our approach is to have all of the terms expressed as meta-level symbolic information, which will support both engineering development for robotic systems and embodied knowledge for cognition.

 

WP2 – Reference Architecture for Cognitive Surgical Robotics

This WP should:

  • Define the points of variations, for upcoming changes at design-time, deployment-time, or run-time;
  • Define invariants that are to hold during the lifetime of the architecture, to ensure properties such as dependability, safety, and predictability;
  • Put implementation techniques and mechanisms into context such that implementations have the desired scalability and promote extra-functional properties such as testability, verifiability, and performance;
  • Have well-defined meanings of objects and their relations, as well as the properties of components and their interconnections, that is valid for the application domain.

The combination of these items should support implementations tailored to specific applications.

 

WP3 – Validation Procedures and Benchmarks for Cognitive Surgical Robotics

The objective of this workpackage is to specify a portfolio of verification procedures suitable for cognitive surgical robotics and formulate their implementation strategy at three levels:

  • Test cases and metrics for the assessment of specific methods, processes or robot related functions (synthetic benchmarks);
  • Validation procedures, which aim at verifying that the integration of a component into a surgical robot does not affect the overall performance of the system and possibly will not alter the certification status of the original medical device;
  • System benchmarks, which will measure the surgical robot performance for given test cases, given the addition of the component(s) validated by the procedures above.


WP4 – Identification of roadblocks for cognitive surgical robotics

The objective of this WP is to identify the main non-technical roadblocks to the introduction of cognitive robotic surgery to the market, and develop strategy and methodology to overcome them with targeted actions. In particular:

  • Develop a database of patents related to surgical robotics in which patents are classified in terms of their applicability, and examine how the patent protection law can affect the development of this new technology;
  • Analyze the current body of law relevant to civil liability with respect to “autonomous” machines and evaluate its impact on the commercialization of cognitive robotics technology;
  • Examine the process of “informed consent” with respect to the use of experimental technology in medical practice and adapt it to the specific needs and characteristics of cognitive robotic surgery. The major challenge of this task is to address the issues above in a pan-European context, to make the WP findings relevant to all European Countries. We will examine in depth the situation in three major Countries (Italy, Germany and Spain), developing the analysis methodology that can be applied to all other Countries as well.

 

WP5 – Dissemination

This work package has the objective of performing the dissemination activities of the EuRoSurge project and of defining the exploitation strategy of the project results. This WP will promote the project results to broader audiences, with the aim of easing the development and adoption of surgical robots solutions in Europe. Dissemination of the project results will run in parallel to the coordination activities throughout the whole project time. Exploitation activities will be focused to the last months of the project, and beyond the project conclusion.

 

WP6 – Management

The purpose of this task is to provide the administrative services and establish the administrative processes necessary for an effective management of the consortium and to ensure smoothness and efficiency. In particular, this will include all necessary administrative, contractual and reporting activities.