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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Surgical robotics at IROS

Besides ICRA, the annual IROS is the other major conference of the IEEE RAS society. IROS2010 was held October 18-22. at the Taipei International Conference Center in Taiwan. In the past 20 years the attendance and the quality of the conference grew steadily, and there were over 1200 attendees in Taipei, around 400 students. The scientific program included 3 plenary lectures (great talks from Drs. Rolf Pfeifer, Steve Cousins and Yoshiyuki Sankai, the latter on their HAL exoskeleton), one day Robot Industry Forum, half day Robotics
Education Forum, 140 technical  sessions in 14 tracks, 17 workshops/tutorials, a huge Robot exhibition and some Robot Competitions.
There were not as many sessions on surgical robotics as at ICRA, still, medical robotics was covered by five sessions. Some of the more interesting papers:
I also had my paper under the title Surgical Case Identification for an Image-Guided Interventional System. I will cover my results in an upcoming post.     

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vesalius robot is looking for project partners

Forwarding a call for FP7 proposal partners on behalf of the Vesalius robot people from K.U.Leuven. See the previous post on Vesalius.
Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the VESALIUS Robot research team, I would like to raise your interests in joining a consortium to enter FP7 proposal for the next call.

The VESALIUS Robot project is a 10 years research project 100% funded by K.U.Leuven. http://www.kuleuven.be/research/ The VESALIUS Robot Platform (VRP) is a common platform to develop potential Robot Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery applications. It is one of the safest and most simple robotic platform to be used for surgical purposes. Its Remote Center Motion (RCM), always on top of the patient feature and its V-shape design minimize the risk of robot-patient collision. Its non redundant and decoupled degrees of freedom provide the intuitive and exact way of control, even by hand in powerless situation. The adjustment in X and Z axis allows it to cope with variable incision position on patients. (Y axis adjustable by sliding on the rail of operating table). Its high payload enables additional instruments, devices and actuators to be handled and manipulated within patient's body. Best of all is its small working envelope which is preferable for human-robot co-manipulation and most suitable in multi-robot cooperation. It is just like a computer. New smart program and hardware can be installed to achieve different purposes in Minimally Invasive Surgery. Our examples on Laser surgery and camera holder illustrate the basic concept. Advance technologies can make it even more useful. Such as the semi-automatic laser scanning function on Laser robot. And the 3D reconstruction on camera holder robot. It can also applied in Single Port Access (SPA) Surgery.
More information can be found in http://www.vesaliusrobot.com/index
Live demonstration can be arranged within K.U.Leuven

Best regards,
Hsiao-Wei TANG, PhD (hsiao-wei.tang (at) mech.kuleuven.be)
Inventor Vesalius Robot
Robot Assisted Surgery Group
Dept. Mechanical Engineering, K.U.Leuven Belgium

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ICABB conference

Last week we had the very first ICABB conference in gorgeous Venice. The event attracted a fair number of researchers mostly from the field of biorobotics, rehab and biomimetics. There was a large number of Japanese besides the European folks, and probably the most interesting paper they presented was on a tube robot that can be mounted on the shaft of regular endoscopes to facilitate its motion in the high-angle curves of the bowels. You can read more here, under the title "Peristaltic Crawling Robot with Artificial Rubber Muscles Attached to Large Intestine Endoscope". 
Also, we had the CIS tutorial on the first day of the conference, attracting a moderate, but enthusiastic crowd. The presentations were excellent, and you can freely access them on the tutorial website!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Conferences ahead

The conference season has arrived yet again. We still remember the busy time spent at EMBC, MICCAI or BioRob, or with ICRA submissions, and now we are facing new heights:
  • Next week the 1st ICABB takes place in Venice (a report will follow)
  • IEEE IROS is coming right after (will be broadcasted here)
  • Prepare your best to submit to IPCAI (by mid December)
  • CARS accepts submissions till mid Jan.
  • IROS2011 will follow (mid Febr)
  • followed by EMBEC in Budapest
  • then MICCAI01 to be held in Toronto
  • EMBC is usually open till mid April
  • and the annual SMIT closes the queue.
Update: To the previous post "UTwente cyber-OR program".  Two short presentations on the TeleFlex project: - Design of Master for Telemanipulation System for Endo- /Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery
 - TeleFLEX Robotics for Flexible Endoscopic Surgery.

Anyone attending this lecture: Robotics in Surgery State of the Art? Let me know!

Image credit: Workshop of the "Methodical Robotics" at IEEE BioRob2010