Co-SuR 2013 - Workshop on Cognitive Surgical Robotics: From Virtual Fixtures to Advanced Cooperative Control

Current advances in medical robotics research have enabled the performance of complex procedures through the development of surgical platforms with enhanced dexterity. However, the complexity of these systems increases the cognitive burden on the operator, especially when a large number of degrees-of-freedom have to be controlled simultaneously by the surgeon. For seamlessly interfacing the robotic system with the human, is therefore fundamental to improve the ergonomics and reduce the control dimensionality by automating the performance of simple tasks and integrating intelligent features in novel surgical robots.

To further improve the safety of robotically assisted surgery, recent medical robotics research is also investigating novel approaches to provide cooperative control between the surgeon and the robot. In this scenario, the robot can execute specific surgical tasks autonomously under the supervision of the surgeon. To this end, the robot must be able to sense changes in the dynamic surgical environment and adapt its actions accordingly, always keeping the human in the control loop. This is critical for overcoming the potential legal and ethical issues and promoting the wider uptake of robotic surgery.
The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers from relevant disciplines to discuss novel techniques and promising results for the development of cognitive surgical robots and to establish the role of such systems in promoting the effective and safe integration of robotic technology in surgery. Speakers working on sensing, machine learning, human-robot interaction, biomechanical modeling and surgical workflow analysis will be invited to present at the workshop, while other participants will be gathered through a call for abstracts.

The workshop will cover (but will not be limited to) the following topics:
  • Virtual fixtures and dynamic active constraints
  • Haptic, tactile and other perceptual feedback mechanisms
  • Cooperative robotic control through perceptual docking
  • Real-time surgical workflow monitoring and learning from demonstration
  • Visual servoing and gaze contingent control
  • Cognitive factors influencing human-robot interaction
  • Augmented reality techniques for surgical navigation
  • Image-constrained biomechanical modeling and prediction of tissue deformation
Intended Audience 

Primary audience includes scientists, PhD students, developers/companies and surgeons working in the surgical robotics field. Secondary audience includes all the categories above dealing with non-robotic surgical assistance and navigation and surgeons still not using any of the above technologies.

Workshop material will also be available for download on the website to reach those who will not be able to attend.
Dr Valentina Vitiello ( - Research Associate in Medical Robotics, The Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London  
Professor Guang-Zhong Yang ( - Director of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London
Professor Paolo Fiorini ( - Coordinator of the EUROSURGE and i-Sur Projects, Department of Computer Science, University of Verona