"The future of surgery is not about blood and guts; the future of surgery is about bits and bytes.”
/Dr. Richard Satava/

Friday, April 24, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SMC Medical Cyber-Physical Systems: further extension

Once again, the deadline for the SMC Special Session on Medical Cyber-Physical Systems has been extended to April 30. Your submission is requested!

Aims and potential impact of the Special Session 
  • Identify specific gaps in existing CPS control practices, as well as future needs; 
  • Identify related efforts (best practices) outside of the medical CPS research community that we may leverage as a group; 
  • Explore future potential scientific domains to continue to support shared knowledge infrastructure for the CPS community; 
  • Discuss collaboration and communication mechanisms along our key research topics, their benefits and shortcomings.  
Important Dates 
  • April 30, 2015: Deadline for submission of full-length papers  
  • June 1, 2015: Acceptance/Rejection Notification. 
  • July 20, 2015: Final camera-ready papers due in electronic form. 
Manuscripts for a Special Session should NOT be submitted in duplication to any other regular or special sessions and should be submitted to SMC 2015 main conference online submission system on SMC 2015 conference website. All submitted papers of Special Sessions have to undergo the same review process (three completed reviews per paper).  The technical reviewers for each Special Session paper will be members of the SMC 2015 Program Committee and qualified peer-reviewers to be nominated by the Special Session organizers.
More information is available here. We are waiting for your contribution!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

KidsArm updates

Updates on the next-generation KidsArm robot: Minimally-Invasive Endoscopic Manipulator System (MIEMS):
"The third prototype of KidsArm, the first image-guided robotic surgical arm in the world specifically designed for pediatric surgery, is currently being tested at SickKids Hospital, and researchers are hoping that the technology might soon lend a helping hand to surgeons around the country. While more testing is needed, the robot is also promising for fetal, cardiac, neurological and urological surgeries.
Using a pair of hand controllers in conjunction with high-precision, real-time imaging technology, surgeons can pinpoint the area of concern to make it easier to reconnect delicate vessels, for example. KidsArm is also equipped with miniaturized dexterous tools that can cut, coagulate, apply suction, or use a laser. It is capable of working 10 times faster and with more accuracy than a surgeon's hands when performing intricate procedures.
Advanced technologies such as imaged-based tissue tracking and robotic assistance select and track sutures so that surgeons can compensate for the tissue motion that sometimes makes these surgeries difficult. A stereo camera generates a 3D point cloud, a set of data points that guide the tool tip and apply a series of sutures. KidsArm pushes the envelope using advanced imaging to identify suture locations. This allows the surgeon to automate the suturing of small vessels and other microsurgical tasks.
The precision required by KidsArm has to be at least 10 times better than what Dextre is able to achieve. To face this technical challenge, the MDA team adopted the virtual decomposition control (VDC) approach developed by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) engineer Wen-Hong Zhu. Thanks to this technology, KidsArm is capable of performing intricate procedures such as the suturing of blood vessels and tissues 10 times faster and with more accuracy than a surgeon's hands. The VDC is a Canadian game-changing technology for precision control of future medical manipulators and space manipulators." 

"The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, made his first visit to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on March 9 to meet with scientists and staff working in the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI).
In 2010, SickKids received $10 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to support the development of KidsArm, MR-guided interventions including Focused Ultrasound and Surgical Simulation. Over the past five years, the CIGITI team has been hard at work in the research lab, building on the original KidsArm design. They are currently developing next-generation KidsArm robot prototypes, which will be ready for clinical use within the next three to five years."

"Advanced technologies such as imaged-based tissue-tracking and robotic platforms help us select suture points and [follow] these points so that we can compensate for the tissue motion that sometimes makes these surgeries difficult," said Looi. "A stereo camera generates a 3-D point cloud. This is a set of data points that guide the tool tip and apply a series of sutures. KidsArm pushes the envelope using advanced imaging to identify suture locations. This allows the surgeon to automate suturing small vessels and other microsurgical tasks."
A key element of the KidsArm platform is the vision-based system that can function in an autonomous manner. This acts as the eyes and brains of the platform and is the focus of the research efforts.
The platform also consists of two other elements: an external positioning system that is on the outside of the patient and a surgical arm that reaches inside the patient. The external system uses a human arm-scale industrial robot that has been customized to support a highly automated surgical arm and suturing device. The surgical arm is the only element that would reach inside a patient. It is as small as possible while containing all the functionality needed for dexterous positioning and deploying the sutures."
See our previous report here.
Source: Industry Canada, Insight into Kids Arm development, CSA, SpaceRef 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Updates on the Veebot

Last week the brand new video of the Veebot was released, and this gives us the opportunity to review this unique robot being developed by Stanford graduates.
See our first report on the early prototype. Their patent from 2012 is here.

Source: Veebot, IEEE Spectrum

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Video Wednesday

The initial concept and real demonstration of the HipRob project: Robot-assisted and ultrasound-guided navigation for hip resurfacing arthroplasty.

Monday, April 13, 2015

China's surgical robots

We have already covered a couple of the Chinese robots published, here are some new systems (such as MicroHand A)! 

In September 2014, the Shenzhen Advanced Institute spinal surgical robot was introduced: "With positioning equipment, a robot will be able to accurately locate the position of the patient's spine surgery. This is the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology is developing spine surgical robot, capable of stably at high accuracy for spinal surgery patients, the leading domestic technology."

"April 11-13, 2014 the 11th Shanghai International Education Expo Education of exhibition held in Shanghai Exhibition Center. The exhibition, the college all-round display of the outstanding achievements of international school of advanced concepts and personnel training, the number of full of new creative works to let visitors amazed, "minimally invasive surgical robot", "less driven prosthetic hand", "Automatic picking robot", "old assistant," "Small UAVs automatic control system" and other scientific and technological achievements attracted the attention of many visitors, who come to the consultation visit flocked to teach Bo became the most One booth welcome.
"Minimally invasive surgical robot" is one of the world's most advanced single-hole surgical robot systems, only a skin incision will be able to direct focus, greatly reduces operative pain and shorter hospital stay and recovery time. On developers know that this section single port laparoscopic surgery system for the next world's smallest size to achieve endoscopic minimally invasive surgical robot functions. Although the set of surgical robotic system is still in the experimental stages of development, but has completed similar to peel the skins and other fine and complex manipulation tasks.

Navy General Hospital, developed by China's first portable surgical robot (2010) has been put into clinical use. It is understood that the portable surgical robot weighs only 3 kg, can carry radiotherapy of brain tumors, cerebral hematoma evacuation and other neurological surgery, surgical treatment is suitable for field site, earthquakes and other emergency situations.

Another older post of the "Third Military Medical University robot" (2010):
"The surgical "robot" by the robotic arm and console consisting of two systems: a body shaped like a manipulator arm stout body, including the "arm, forearm, palm," the three parts, connecting three parts of each joint can rotate round easy access to relevant parts of the spinal vertebrae and bones anywhere, "palm" section of the bone may need to be installed in accordance with surgical drill, various surgical bone knife, pedicle screws and other equipment, along with a camera and light source, real-time transmission of surgery interface to the console. Console includes a monitor, the operator panel and some other doctors completed surgery related action command robotic arm controlled by the console.