Date: Sunday, 24th June; Morning (1/2 day)

Workshop Aims

As Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is being adopted in a wide range of surgical specialties, there is a convergence of endoluminal and endoscopic therapies for different surgical specialities. For the gastrointestinal tract, for example, there is an increasing need to deploy surgical instruments and deliver therapeutic agents to small ductal systems for diagnosing and treating diseases. For the respiratory system, endobronchial procedures are increasingly used for interventions such as thermoplasty, valve placement for lung volume reduction, and locating peripheral nodules for cancer biopsy. For minimally invasive cardiovascular intervention, the use of the endovascular approach has been extended beyond cardiac ablation, angioplasty and stenting to complex aneurysm repair and valve replacement.   Technically, different solutions have been proposed for endoluminal intervention. Continuum robotics such as concentric tubes, multi-backbone and soft structures have evolved from a niche area to one that has been extensively researched. The structure and flexibility of continuum robots has generated interest among clinicians in potential medical applications.  The purpose of this workshop is to address clinical opportunities, technical requirements and regulatory challenges for translating continuum robotics to practical clinical use. It is designed an interactive workshop between researchers, engineers and clinicians to brainstorm about the different areas and identify barriers to using continuum robots in a clinical setting. The result of the workshop will be to create a list of technical and clinical challenges that need to be resolved while also serving to build bridges between the clinical, engineering and regulatory communities.

Topics to be covered

  • Actuation mechanisms and new materials
  • Continuum robot and flexible instrument design
  • Surgical tool path planning and navigation
  • Ergonomics, design, miniaturisation and system integration issues
  • Kinematics and dynamics
  • Control schemes and real-time issues
  • Integrated sensing and imaging
  • Clinical applications (endoscopic surgery; endobronchial, endovascular interventions; neurosurgery, otolaryngology, urology and gynaecology, and other emerging clinical applications)


  • Philip Chiu, Chinese University Hong Kong, China
  • Thomas Looi, Hospital for Sick Children, Canada
  • Robert Webster, Vanderbilt University, USA

Sponsored by:




EPSRC Programme Grant on Micro-robotics for Surgery and Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership in Robotic Surgery