Imperial College London

The Next 10 Years: Challenges, Innovation and Diffusion of Medical Robotics


Leaders Forum

Nikolay Vasilyev, Russel Taylor, Bradley Nelson, Rick Satava & Guang-Zhong Yang discuss future of robotic surgery at 10th Hamlyn Symposium.

The annual Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics came to a close during UK Robotics Week 2017.

Over 350 Surgeons, clinicians, engineers, business leaders and academics recently came together at the Royal Geographical Society for the annual Hamlyn Symposium.  Celebrating its 10th year and coinciding with the 2nd annual UK Robotics Week, the Symposium is hosted by the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery and offers an opportunity to test, watch demos and hear talks about the latest innovations in medical and surgical robotics.   

Medical robotics have come a long way over the past 10 years and because there is less pain and recovery time for the patient and the surgical robotic instruments are able to be much more precise and minimally invasive, there is a win-win for both the patient and surgeon. 

Marking the Symposium’s 10th birthday, the theme this year was to look at the future of medical robotics and the steps to take to allow us to further innovate, diffuse and overcome barriers throughout the next 10 years.

This year’s keynote lecture was presented by Dong-Soo Kwon from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and addressed ‘Efforts Towards the Minimum Invasive Surgery’. 

Catherine Mohr

Invited speaker Catherine Mohr of Intuitive Surgical.

Other highlighted speakers included Catherine Mohr of Intuitive Surgical who discussed ‘USA Surgical Robots as a Technology Platform’ and Andrew Turberfield from the University of Oxford who addressed ‘UK Programming Autonomous Molecular Machinery’. 

The Karl Storz - Harold Hopkins Lecture was presented by Joseph J. Y. Sung from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), who talked about ‘China AI and Robotic Surgery: What is the Role of Future Medics?’.

Some segments of the event were live streamed on Periscope, which meant remote viewers were able to watch and interact with the Leaders Forum live as it happened.  Chaired by Director and Co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre Professor Guang-Zhong Yang and sponsored by Science Robotics Magazine, the Leaders Forum offered a platform for experts from across the globe to provide their views on the way forward for medical robotics in the years to come.  Experts included Professors Nikolay Vasilyev,  Russel Taylor, Bradley Nelson and Rick Satava.  

Surgical Robot Challenge


Surgical Robot Challenge

A Surgical Robot Challenge Finalist demonstrating their idea.

The Surgical Robot Challenge finals also took place during the Symposium and winners were announced at the International Robotics Showcase on 30th June, the grand finale of UK Robotics Week. 


The aim of the Surgical Robot Challenge is to exploit the unique expertise of the consortium in medical robotics to develop low-cost robot-assisted surgical and diagnostic devices that can benefit the NHS as well as be used as solutions for global health, especially with potential for applications in the developing world. 

The 2017 winners were as follows:

Best Application Prize and Overall Winner

Robotic assistance technology for safe and successful retinal vein cannulation
A. Gijbels, J. Smits, L. Schoevaerdts, K. Willekens, P. Stalmans, E.B. Vander Poorten, D. Reynaerts
KU Leuven

Best Design Prize

The Intuitive Imaging Sensing and Kinematically Enhanced Robotic Platform for Ear Nose Throat Surgery: The i2Snake
Pierre Berthet-Rayne, Gauthier Gras, Konrad Leibrandt, Andreas Schmitz, Carlo A. Seneci, Piyamate Wisanuvej
The Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London 

Best Video Prize

Stormram 4: an MRI-compatible robotic system for breast biopsy
Vincent Groenhuis, Franc?oise Siepel, Jeroen Veltman, I Stefano Stramigioli
University of Twente

Best Innovation Prize

Smart Autonomous Unknown Deformable Object Manipulation Using the da Vinci research Kit
Farshid Alambeigi, Zerui Wang, Yun-hui Liu, Mehran Armand, and Russell H. Taylor
Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Johns Hopkins University 

Surgical Robot Challenge Finalists

The Surgical Robot Challenge Finalists.



Poster competition winners

Best Poster Presentation

Towards Biocompatible Conducting Polymer Actuated Tubes for Intracorporeal Laser Steering

M. T. Chikhaoui, A. Cot, K. Rabenorosoa, P. Rougeot , N. Andreff

Best Oral Presentation

A Wirelessly Actuated Robotic Arm for Endoscopy

T. Qiu, S. Palagi, F. Adams, U. Wetterauer, A. Miernik, P. Fischer

Poster Presentation Runner Up

First Results on a Flexible Variable Stiffness Endoport for Single-Site Partial Nephrectomy

E. Amanov, T.-D. Nguyen, F. Imkamp, J. Burgner-Kahrs

Oral Presentation Runner Up

SAID: a Semi-Autonomous Intravenous access Device for pediatric peripheral intravenous catheterization

Z. Cheng, B. L. Davies, D. G. Caldwell, L. S. Mattos

About UK Robotics Week

The annual UK Robotics Week is a unique opportunity to learn about the current state-of-the-art robotic technology, discuss the role of robots and artificial intelligence in our lives, and to inspire the next generation of designers and engineers.  In collaboration with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), visitors can see and experience robotic inventions and ideas from across the UK, and can join us for the week’s pinnacle celebratory finale, the International Robotics Showcase. The week is hosted by EPSRC‘s UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS) which is chaired by Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Co Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation’s Hamlyn Centre.


Prof Guang-Zhong Yang

Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Director and Co-Founder of the Hamlyn Centre giving the opening remarks.

“I would like to say a big Happy Birthday to the Symposium” said Professor Yang.  “Over the past ten years, we’ve developed a symposium which not only provides a platform for surgeons and engineers to showcase their current research, but it also gives everyone a chance to network and create potential new collaborations.  We really hope this will help lead to successful new ventures and innovations in the coming decade”.   


Further reading

To find out more about the Hamlyn Symposium, UK Robotics Week and the Hamlyn Centre, visit their website

View all the photos from the event on our Flickr pages as follows:

Read the Storify of the event here


Jo Seed

Jo Seed
Institute of Global Health Innovation

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