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
    Zhou X-Y, Riga C, Lee S-L, Yang G-Zet al., 2019,

    Towards Automatic 3D Shape Instantiation for Deployed Stent Grafts: 2D Multiple-class and Class-imbalance Marker Segmentation with Equally-weighted Focal U-Net

    , 25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 1261-1267, ISSN: 2153-0858
  • Conference paper
    Dagnino G, Liu J, Abdelaziz M, Chi W, Riga C, Yang Get al., 2019,

    Haptic feedback and dynamic active constraints for robot-assisted endovascular catheterization

    , 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2018), Publisher: IEEE

    Robotic and computer assistance can bring significant benefits to endovascular procedures in terms of precision and stability, reduced radiation doses, improved comfort and access to difficult and tortuous anatomy.However,the design of current commercially available platforms tends to alter the natural bedside manipulation skills of the operator, so thatthe manually acquired experience and dexterityare not well utilized. Furthermore, most of these systems lackofhaptic feedback, preventing their acceptance and limiting the clinical usability.In this paper a new robotic platform for endovascular catheterization, the CathBot, is presented.It is an ergonomic master-slave system with navigation system and integrated vision-based haptic feedback, designed to maintain the natural bedside skills of the vascular surgeon. Unlike previous work reported in literature, dynamic motion tracking of both the vessel walls the catheter tip is incorporated to create dynamic activeconstraints. The system was evaluated through a combined quantitative and qualitative user study simulating catheterization tasks on a phantom. Forces exerted on the phantom were measured. The results showed a 70% decrease in mean force and 61% decrease in maximum force when force feedback is provided. This research provides the first integration of vision-based dynamic active constraints within an ergonomic robotic catheter manipulator. The technological advances presented here, demonstratesthat vision-based haptic feedback can improve the effectiveness, precision, and safety of robot-assisted endovascular procedures.

  • Conference paper
    Grammatikopoulou M, Zhang L, Yang G-Z, 2019,

    Depth Estimation of Optically Transparent Microrobots Using Convolutional and Recurrent Neural Networks

    , 25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 4895-4900, ISSN: 2153-0858
  • Conference paper
    Chi W, Liu J, Abdelaziz MEMK, Dagnino G, Riga C, Bicknell C, Yang G-Zet al., 2019,

    Trajectory Optimization of Robot-Assisted Endovascular Catheterization with Reinforcement Learning

    , 25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 3875-3881, ISSN: 2153-0858
  • Journal article
    Giataganas P, Hughes M, Payne C, Wisanuvej P, Temelkuran B, Yang GZet al., 2019,

    Intraoperative robotic-assisted large-area high-speed microscopic imaging and intervention

    , IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 66, Pages: 208-216, ISSN: 0018-9294

    IEEE Objective: Probe-based confocal endomicroscopy is an emerging high-magnification optical imaging technique that provides in-vivo and in-situ cellular-level imaging for real-time assessment of tissue pathology. Endomicroscopy could potentially be used for intraoperative surgical guidance, but it is challenging to assess a surgical site using individual microscopic images due to the limited field-of-view and difficulties associated with manually manipulating the probe. Methods: In this paper, a novel robotic device for large-area endomicroscopy imaging is proposed, demonstrating a rapid, but highly accurate, scanning mechanism with image-based motion control which is able to generate histology-like endomicroscopy mosaics. The device also includes, for the first time in robotic-assisted endomicroscopy, the capability to ablate tissue without the need for an additional tool. Results: The device achieves pre-programmed trajectories with positioning accuracy of less than 30um, the image-based approach demonstrated that it can suppress random motion disturbances up to 1.25mm/s. Mosaics are presented from a range of ex-vivo human and animal tissues, over areas of more than 3mm<formula><tex>$^2$</tex></formula>, scanned in approximate 10s. Conclusion: This work demonstrates the potential of the proposed instrument to generate large-area, high-resolution microscopic images for intraoperative tissue identification and margin assessment. Significance: This approach presents an important alternative to current histology techniques, significantly reducing the tissue assessment time, while simultaneously providing the capability to mark and ablate suspicious areas intraoperatively.

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