Research in surgical robotics has an established track record at Imperial College, and a number of research and commercial surgical robot platforms have been developed over the years. The Hamlyn Centre is a champion for technological innovation and clinical adoption of robotic, minimally invasive surgery. We work in partnership with major industrial leaders in medical devices and surgical robots, as well as developing our own platforms such as the i-Snake® and Micro-IGES platforms. The Da Vinci surgical robot is used extensively for endoscopic radical prostatectomy, hiatal hernia surgery, and low pelvic and rectal surgery, and in 2003, St Mary’s Hospital carried out its first Totally Endoscopic Robotic Coronary Artery Bypass (TECAB).

The major focus of the Hamlyn Centre is to develop robotic technologies that will transform conventional minimally invasive surgery, explore new ways of empowering robots with human intelligence, and develop[ing miniature 'microbots' with integrated sensing and imaging for targeted therapy and treatment. We work closely with both industrial and academic partners in open platforms such as the DVRK, RAVEN and KUKA. The Centre also has the important mission of driving down costs associated with robotic surgery in order to make the technology more accessible, portable, and affordable. This will allow it to be fully integrated with normal surgical workflows so as to benefit a much wider patient population.

The Hamlyn Centre currently chairs the UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network. The mission of the Network is to to provide academic leadership in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), expand collaboration with industry and integrate and coordinate activities across the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded RAS capital facilities and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).


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  • CONFERENCE PAPER
    Wisanuvej P, Leibrandt KL, Liu JL, Yang GZYet al., 2016,

    Hands-on reconfigurable robotic surgical instrument holder arm

    , IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Publisher: IEEE, ISSN: 2153-0866

    Abstract:The use of conventional surgical tool holders requires an assistant during positioning and adjustment due to the lack of weight compensation. In this paper, we introduce a robotic arm system with hands-on control approach. The robot incorporates a force sensor at the end effector which realises tool weight compensation as well as hands-on manipulation. On the operating table, the required workspace can be tight due to a number of instruments required. There are situations where the surgical tool is at the desired location but the holder arm pose is not ideal due to space constraints or obstacles. Although the arm is a non-redundant robot because of the limited degrees of freedom, the pseudo-null-space inverse kinematics can be used to constrain a particular joint of the robot to a specific angle while the other joints compensate in order to minimise the tool movement. This allows operator to adjust the arm configuration conveniently together with the weight compensation. Experimental results demonstrated that our robotic arm can maintain the tool position during reconfiguration significantly more stably than a conventional one.

  • JOURNAL ARTICLE
    Clark J, Noonan DP, Vitiello V, Sodergren MH, Shang J, Payne CJ, Cundy TP, Yang G-Z, Darzi Aet al., 2015,

    A novel flexible hyper-redundant surgical robot: prototype evaluation using a single incision flexible access pelvic application as a clinical exemplar

    , SURGICAL ENDOSCOPY AND OTHER INTERVENTIONAL TECHNIQUES, Vol: 29, Pages: 658-667, ISSN: 0930-2794
  • CONFERENCE PAPER
    Dwyer G, Giataganas P, Pratt P, Hughes M, Yang G-Zet al., 2015,

    A Miniaturised Robotic Probe for Real-Time Intraoperative Fusion of Ultrasound and Endomicroscopy

    , IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Publisher: IEEE COMPUTER SOC, Pages: 1196-1201, ISSN: 1050-4729
  • JOURNAL ARTICLE
    Giataganas P, Hughes M, Yang G-Z, 2015,

    Force adaptive robotically assisted endomicroscopy for intraoperative tumour identification

    , INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTER ASSISTED RADIOLOGY AND SURGERY, Vol: 10, Pages: 825-832, ISSN: 1861-6410
  • CONFERENCE PAPER
    Gras G, Marcus HJ, Payne CJ, Pratt P, Yang G-Zet al., 2015,

    Visual Force Feedback for Hand-Held Microsurgical Instruments

    , 18th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention (MICCAI), Publisher: SPRINGER INT PUBLISHING AG, Pages: 480-487, ISSN: 0302-9743

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