Date: Sunday, 24th June, 2018; Full day

Workshop Aims

Robotic systems have historically been designed using rigid materials which enables them to execute tasks with precision and predictability. This approach has been extensively utilized in manufacturing and has now been adopted into the medical field. By their inherent nature, medical robots are required to interact with humans in a safe manner. For rigid medical robots, safe human interaction requires sophisticated sensing and control systems with added redundancy so as to ensure environmental adaptability. In recent years, a new generation of robots fabricated from soft materials has emerged as an alternative to conventional robotic systems. The natural compliancy of these soft-bodied devices makes them highly adaptable to uncertain environments and allows intrinsically atraumatic human interaction. Advancements in soft and continuum-based robotic technology is creating new opportunities for translation into medical applications. A generation of flexible, continuum-based robots offers the potential for surgeons to operate through tiny incisions and navigate safely within the body. Wearable soft robotic systems may also enable advancements in rehabilitation and assistance to patients through exosuits, actuated gloves and ventricular assist devices.

Despite the significant promise of soft robots in medicine, the design, fabrication and control of these devices across different physical scales remains highly challenging. This workshop aims to provide a forum for discussion on emerging soft and continuum robotic technology and its potential for clinical application.

Confirmed Speakers (in alphabetical order)

  • Soft Mechanosensing Approaches for Soft Robotics and Wearable Systems
    Lucia  Beccai, Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia of Genoa, Italy 
  • Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, The Faboratory, Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Yale University, USA
  • Achieving Variable Stiffness - Soft Skins for Continuum Robots
    Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, LKR Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  • Fionnuala Connolly, Wyss Institute for Biologically-Inspired Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, USA
  • Using Soft Robotic Technology to Fabricate a Patient-Specific Left Atrial Appendage Occluder
    Bobak Mosadegh, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, USA
  • Bas Overvelde, Soft Robotic Matter Group, AMOLF, Holland
  • Optogenetic Skeletal Muscle-Powered Adaptive Biological Machines
    Ritu Raman, Langer Lab, Massachussetts Insititute of Technology, USA
  • Computational Mechanics of Soft Robots- from Design, Control to Sensing 
    Ka-Wai Kwok - Group for Interventional Robotics and Imaging Systems, University of Hong Kong, HK, China
  • Advancements in Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) – Data mining using soft robotic balloon catheters
    Helge Wurdemann - Soft Haptics Lab, Mechanical Engineering, University College London, UK

Topics to be covered

  • Novel materials and fabrication of soft robotics across scales
  • Soft sensor designs
  • Soft surgical robots
  • Novel multimodal soft actuation methodologies
  • Control, adaptation and learning for soft and continuum robots
  • Clinical applications/needs
    • Cardiac
    • General/Thoracic surgery
    • Neurosurgery
    • Otolaryngology
    • Plastic surgery
    • Urology

Workshop Co-chairs

  • Bobak Mosadegh, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, USA
  • Chris Payne, Wyss Institute, Harvard University, USA
  • Guang-Zhong Yang, The Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College London, UK

Local Organisers

  • Berthet-Rayne, Pierre R R

Sponsored by:




EPSRC NIHR-HTC Network Plus and Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership in Robotic Surgery