HSMR21 Featured Speaker Professor Pietro Valdastri

The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics (HSMR) is now in its 13th year and has provided an annual forum for surgeons and engineers from across the globe to network and explore the latest developments in medical robotics. Every year researchers, clinicians and engineers are invited to submit papers on a range of topics covering clinical specialities in Urology, Cardiac Surgery, Neuro Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, General Surgery, Gynaecology, ENT, Orthopaedic and Paediatric Surgery.

This year we plan to build beyond the previous achievements and take the symposium to even higher successes with the theme of Surgery and Beyond’. We have already received full CPD accreditation from the Royal College of Surgeons and to complement this we are planning a programme with increased focus on clinical practitioner centered talks, workshops and presentations.

Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics 2021:

Featured Speaker Professor Pietro Valdastri
Medical Capsule Robots: A Fantastic Voyage


Professor Pietro ValdastriWe are pleased to announce Professor Pietro Valdastri, Chair in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Leeds, is one of the featured speakers of the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics 2021 (#HSMR21).

Professor Valdastri will give a talk on ‘Medical Capsule Robots: A Fantastic Voyage’ followed by a Q&A session.


At the beginning of the new millennia, wireless capsule endoscopy was introduced as a minimally invasive method of inspecting the digestive tract. The possibility of collecting images deep inside the human body just by swallowing a “pill” revolutionized the field of gastrointestinal endoscopy and sparked a brand-new field of research in robotics: medical capsule robots. These are self-contained robots that leverage extreme miniaturization to access and operate in environments that are out of reach for larger devices.

In medicine, capsule robots can enter the human body through natural orifices or small incisions, and detect and cure life-threatening diseases in a non-invasive manner. This talk will provide a perspective on how this field has evolved in the last ten year. We will explore what was accomplished, what has failed, and what were the lessons learned. We will also discuss enabling technologies, intelligent control, possible levels of computer assistance, and highlight future challenges in this ongoing Fantastic Voyage.


Pietro Valdastri is Full Professor and Chair in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Leeds. He directs the Science and Technologies Of Robotics in Medicine (STORM) Lab, focusing on intelligent robots to fight cancer, the Institute of Robotics, Autonomous System and Sensing (IRASS), and the Robotics at Leeds network.

He received his Laurea degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pisa in 2001 and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in 2006. After the PhD, he became Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. In 2011, Prof Valdastri moved to Vanderbilt University as an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering until 2016, when he relocated to Leeds.

He has published more than 100 peer reviewed journal papers in the field of medical robotics and has been principal investigator on grants supported by NSF, NIH, ERC, EU-H2020, Cancer Research UK, The Royal Society, EPSRC and industry. He holds NSF CAREER, Wolfson Research Merit, ERC Consolidator and KUKA Innovation Awards. Prof. Valdastri is a Senior Member of IEEE, a Senior Editor for Medical and Rehabilitation Robotics of IEEE RAL, and a member of the steering committee of iSMIT. His research has been featured by several news outlets, including the BBC, The Times, Le Monde, The Financial Times, Daily Mail, New Scientist, The Spectator, WIRED, IEEE Spectrum, and Medgadget. Prof Valdastri also completed a successful entrepreneurial cycle with WinMedical s.r.l., a company he co-founded in 2009 and that was acquired by a larger enterprise in 2017.

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