Towards Robotic Autonomy in Surgery workshop

At the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics

23 june 2019, london

We are excited to organize this workshop in the context of the Hamlyn Symposium on Robotics 2019

Time and place

Sunday 23rd June 2019 from 08:30 – 15:30 Royal Geographical Society, London

Co-Chairs and Organisers

Paolo Fiorini, University of Verona, Italy Riccardo Muradore, University of Verona, Italy Francesco Setti, University of Verona, Italy


University of Verona, Italy  

Introduction to the workshop

Dexterity and perception capabilities of surgical robots may soon be enhanced by cognitive functions that can support surgeons in decision making and performance monitoring, and enhance surgical quality.

However, the basic elements of autonomy are not well understood and their mutual interaction is unexplored. Current classification of autonomy encompasses six basic levels:

Level 0: no autonomy; Level 1: robot assistance; Level 2: task autonomy; Level 3: conditional autonomy; Level 4: high autonomy. Level 5: full autonomy.

The practical meaning of each level and the necessary technologies are the subject of intense debate and development. In this workshop, we will focus on exploring the transition from level 0 to level 1 and 2, where the robot is providing cognitive and operative support in a “shared” control approach, with the human always in charge of decisions.  These levels have the basic building blocks of autonomy, i.e. the ability to understand the task, to plan a proper action, and to ensure its safe execution.

We plan to organize the workshop in four tracks, to examine the needs and challenges:

  1. The surgical needs of autonomous support and their impact on industry will be presented by surgeons and technicians;
  2. Knowledge representation will be addressed by examining a top-down approach based on ontological description and a bottom-up approach based on data analysis;
  3. The current advances in situation awareness will be presented by describing current work in real-time reasoning and machine learning for decision making;
  4. The control aspects will focus on the description of the shared autonomy framework.
Two keynote speakers will start each track, and a call for contributions will be issued. The workshop will end with a scientific aperitif to freely discuss the main aspects and opportunities of cognitive robotic surgery and the challenges to be addressed in the coming years. Discover more at the official page of the workshop

The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics

The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics (HSMR) provides an annual forum for surgeons and engineers from across the globe, to network and explore the latest developments in medical robotics. The Symposium attracted over 500 delegates last year and now in its 12th year, it has become a leading international conference on medical robotics, current clinical practice and emerging technologies in robotic surgery. One of our highlights this year will be a Clinical Leaders’ Forum, in which leading robotic surgeons in different fields of expertise, will come together to discuss the ways in which technologies can best be applied in clinical practice.