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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  • Journal article
    Maciel VG, Wales DJ, Seferin M, Lie Ugaya CM, Sans Vet al., 2019,

    State-of-the-art and limitations in the life cycle assessment of ionic liquids

    , JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, Vol: 217, Pages: 844-858, ISSN: 0959-6526
  • Journal article
    Zhang D, Xiao B, Huang B, Zhang L, Liu J, Yang GZet al., 2019,

    A Self-Adaptive Motion Scaling Framework for Surgical Robot Remote Control

    , IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Vol: 4, Pages: 359-366

    Master-slave control is a common form of human-robot interaction for robotic surgery. To ensure seamless and intuitive control, a mechanism of self-adaptive motion scaling during teleoperaton is proposed in this letter. The operator can retain precise control when conducting delicate or complex manipulation, while the movement to a remote target is accelerated via adaptive motion scaling. The proposed framework consists of three components: 1) situation awareness, 2) skill level awareness, and 3) task awareness. The self-adaptive motion scaling ratio allows the operators to perform surgical tasks with high efficiency, forgoing the need of frequent clutching and instrument repositioning. The proposed framework has been verified on a da Vinci Research Kit to assess its usability and robustness. An in-house database is constructed for offline model training and parameter estimation, including both the kinematic data obtained from the robot and visual cues captured through the endoscope. Detailed user studies indicate that a suitable motion-scaling ratio can be obtained and adjusted online. The overall performance of the operators in terms of control efficiency and task completion is significantly improved with the proposed framework.

  • Journal article
    Zhang D, Xiao B, Huang B, Zhang L, Liu J, Yang G-Zet al., 2019,

    A self-adaptive motion scaling framework for surgical robot remote control

    , IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Vol: 4, Pages: 359-366, ISSN: 2377-3766

    Master-slave control is a common form of human-robot interaction for robotic surgery. To ensure seamless and intuitive control, a mechanism of self-adaptive motion scaling during teleoperaton is proposed in this letter. The operator can retain precise control when conducting delicate or complex manipulation, while the movement to a remote target is accelerated via adaptive motion scaling. The proposed framework consists of three components: 1) situation awareness, 2) skill level awareness, and 3) task awareness. The self-adaptive motion scaling ratio allows the operators to perform surgical tasks with high efficiency, forgoing the need of frequent clutching and instrument repositioning. The proposed framework has been verified on a da Vinci Research Kit to assess its usability and robustness. An in-house database is constructed for offline model training and parameter estimation, including both the kinematic data obtained from the robot and visual cues captured through the endoscope. Detailed user studies indicate that a suitable motion-scaling ratio can be obtained and adjusted online. The overall performance of the operators in terms of control efficiency and task completion is significantly improved with the proposed framework.

  • Journal article
    Hu Y, Zhang L, senici C, Li W, Abdelaziz M, Yang G-Zet al., 2019,

    Design, fabrication and testing a semi-automatic sewing device for personalized stent graft manufacturing

    , IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol: 24, Pages: 517-526, ISSN: 1083-4435

    For the treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), a personalised stent graft is used to ensure it fits tightly to the patients vessel geometry. A personalised stent graft is usually handmade which requires thousands of stitches and can take weeks or even months to complete. This delay may expose the patient to the risk of aneurysm rupture. This paper presents a robotic sewing device that can enhance the stent graft sewing speed by providing automated needle manipulation. It simplifies the sewing process and has the potential to achieve fully automated stent graft manufacturing via a vision-guided system. The device features a sewing probe that can switch a double pointed semi-circular needle between two movable jaws. This forgoes the need for manual needle handling including grasping, driving rotation, releasing and re-grasping, which requires a high level of manual dexterity and attention. This paper presents the design of the device, its mechanical synthesis and experimental validation. The focus of the paper is on the linkage parameter optimisation and needle locking mechanism design. The proposed device has been fabricated using 3D rapid prototyping techniques, and its performance has been compared with the conventional manual sewing method. The experimental results show that the device can achieve a 30% reduction of the completion time for a stitching task while achieving better consistency and quality of the stitches.

  • Journal article
    Maciel VG, Wales DJ, Seferin M, Sans Vet al., 2019,

    Environmental performance of 3D-Printing polymerisable ionic liquids

    , JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, Vol: 214, Pages: 29-40, ISSN: 0959-6526

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