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

Friday, July 31, 2009

MRCIIS – winter scool on surgical robotics

The Center for Computer-integrated Surgical Systems and Technology (CISST ERC) organized a unique event back in January 2009 for young professionals and PhD students. The MRCIIS (Medical Robotics and Computer-Integrated Interventional Systems) was a week-long winter school on advanced medical technologies. It was co-organized with the celebration and Graduation Event of the 10-year-old CISST center at the Johns Hopkins University. 35 graduate students and professionals took part in the program from 7 countries to be given coverage on the most recent technological advancements in CIS, to take a close-up look on cutting-edge research projects and a hands-on experience with some of the most amazing robots.
The first day was the celebration of the ERC jubilee, with great overview talks on the achievements of the center, and the rest of the week was covered busy with lectures and tutorials. Most of the presentations are available online at the MRCIIS’ site, and also linked below.

The topic of the first day’s session was Surgical CAD/CAM: on procedures performed based on preoperative plans or image guidance, including a talk about:
Interactive Surgery and Surgical Assistant Systems was covered the following day, focusing on systems for telesurgery, microsurgery, and similar procedures:
Within the theme Practicalities, the unusual constraints that surround research in medical robotics and computer-integrated interventional medicine was discussed:
Friday was devoted to tutorials:s
In the afternoons, a special course of Hopkins' Surgery for Engineers program was held for the participants, led by Dr. Mike Marohn.
Student could also present their own work at the poster sessions before dinner. After the meals, there was still another talk to listen to, featuring James Handa on the I4M eye surgery project, Clif Burdette on medical product development procedures and Greg Hager on the language of surgery. At the end, a mini-symposium was held with over a dozen of short presentations on various CIS project. A special CIS late-birthday cake was also presented to Dr. Taylor, acknowledging his tireless efforts invested in the creation and direction of the ERC center.

Friday, July 24, 2009

US Robotics Roadmap

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and the Computing Research Association (CRA) prepared a report (with the support of the NSF) for the US congress under the title "US Robotics Roadmap". The spring of the project is former EURON (European Robotics Research Network) leader, Henrik I. Christensen. It was presented to the Congress in May 2009, and later released online. The document focuses on "carefully consider how the USA can ensure availability of robotic technologies in a 5-15 year perspective." It addresses three mayor areas based on workshops held prior with the involvement of the leaders and visionaries of the field:
At the Congress, Dan Jones from Intuitive Surgical gave a presentation as an introduction to their da Vinci telerobotic system. (It can be accessed here.) The presentations are also available on YouTube.

Another interesting initiative is the IEEE Robotics and Automation's Technical Committee on Surgical Robotics, led by Jaydev Desai. Frank Tendick and Mamoru Mitsuishi.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CIS news from around the world

This post lists a couple of CIS related news, articles and videos that might be interesting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

DARPA's TraumaPod project

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the US Department of Defense responsible for the development of innovative technology. They were supporting many of the prior surgical robotics projects. One of their most famous initiative is Trauma Pod, supported by many institutes. The "The Trauma Pod Program will enhance battlefield casualty care by developing autonomous and semi-autonomous mobile platforms through the integration of tele-robotic and robotic medical systems. The initial phase has successfully automated functions typically performed by the scrub nurse and circulating nurse; these functions are now performed by semi-autonomous robots working in coordination with the tele-robotic surgeon. The next phase of the program will develop methods for autonomous airway control and intravenous access so that initial therapy can be autonomously administered. Finally, these systems will be miniaturized and incorporated into a tactical platform capable of operating in a battlefield or mass casualty environment."
The first concept video of the system is very well known, and in 2006 the first phase of the research was successfully finished: equipping and integrating a robotic OR to be able to perform all tasks with now immediate human presence. A smaller Mitsubishi robot is servicing the da Vinci and provides faster tool exchange and tissue manipulation. The next phase is to improve the capabilities and reduce the size of the system, so it can really fit on a mobile first aid truck.
The robots developed with the help of DARPA (like the M7 or the Raven) have been tested in extreme environment already, in weightlessness and at NASA Aquarius underwater habitat (video).