Summer School on Control of Surgical Robots (COSUR 2016)
Guest post by Tamás Nagy
The 1st Biannual Summer School on Control of Surgical Robots was held in Verona from the 5th to the 9th of September. The school was organised by the Altair Robotics Lab, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and MURAB project (MRI and Ultrasound Robotic Assisted Biopsy); it was focused on control, teleoperation, human-robot interaction and cognitive aspects of robotic surgery. The students of the school were mainly from Europe, but a number of students arrived from the USA, from Asian countries such as China, Japan and Kazakhstan, moreover one of the students came from South America.
During the first days of the school, we could hear the interesting presentations of illustrious and highly experienced researchers of the area of surgical robots and medical informatics. Without being exhaustive, the lectures included the speech of Prof. Guang-Zhong Yang from Imperial College London about perceptual docking, Prof. Marco Zenati from Harvard Medical School about the reduction of surgical errors and Prof. Paolo Fiorini from Università di Verona about image guidance in robotic prostate biopsy. In addition Prof. Joel Burdick fromCaltech USA made a presentation about the compelling progress of his lab in the recovery of patients with spinal cord injury by spinal stimulation, and Tamás Haidegger from Óbuda University also gave a lecture about human-robot interfaces. Lectures were accompanied by a lab tour to the depth of the Altair Robotics Lab’s reseach.
In the second half of the week the school went on practical lessons. We were able to work on ultrasound imaging; we could try multiple US probes on US phantoms, and also performed basic measurements. The other part of the practical lessons were based on teleoperation; we had to implement and analyse the behavior of different teleoperation methods using haptic paddles (see the photo). Finally the students were separated to groups of four to choose an US or teleoperation project to work on. Our group preferred teleoperation like other four, two groups choose US imaging, and three decided to mix the two. Even though not all of the groups were able to finish the projects due to the lack of time; we all could learn a lot about medical informatics on the lectures and also by practice.