4 November 2015Time: 4:30 - 5:30pm
Most current tools and instruments, including those that are robot-assisted, employed for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) are made of rigid elements and often have only a low number of degrees of freedom (DoFs), limiting their ability to access remote areas of the human body during keyhole surgery. Only recently, researchers have begun developing high DoF and continuum robots to overcome limitations of traditional systems used for MIS. Most of these new robot systems are in their infancy and have not advanced very much beyond the proof-of-concept level. Integrating such systems with required additional components, such as position and force sensors, and, at the same time, achieving the required miniaturization for the envisaged surgical application are still major challenges. Taking inspiration from biology as well as collaborating closely with experienced laparoscopic and robotic surgeons, the King’s CoRe team creates innovative miniaturized surgical robot systems and explores ways to realise fully integrated robots that address the requirements of MIS. This talk will provide an overview of a range of sensing technologies, including position and force sensing, developed in the framework of on-going healthcare projects at King’s CoRe. Challenges, especially those related to integrating sensors with continuum and, possibly, soft robots for surgical applications will be discussed.