Date: Wednesday, 28th June; Morning

Workshop Aims

Cognitive Surgical Robotics addresses the broad research area that involves the integration of advanced cognitive capabilities into robot-assisted surgical procedure. In the past, there have been many workshops on similar topics starting from IARP in Heidelberg in 2012, ICRA in Karlsruhe in 2013, Hamlyn in London in 2014 and ICRA in Singapore in 2017, just to mention a few. These past events were motivated by the significant results achieved, in particular, by many EU-funded projects such as SAFROS, STIFF-FLOP, EUROSURGE, ISUR, FUTURA. These projects highlighted the need of in depth understanding of the complex sequence of actions that form a surgical workflow, from its conceptual abstraction to the actual cognitive process that guides the surgeon hands. In this workshop we aim at exploring the interaction between abstract and practical levels during a highly cognitive activity such as surgery. Starting from the review of today’s understanding of cognitive robotic surgery, we will further discuss the specific research challenges related to surgical workflow and process modeling, address its commercial perspectives, and the possibilities of its effective deployment in clinical practice. Speakers from surgical, industrial and technology areas have been invited to present their opinion on these specific areas. At the end of the workshop we will prepare a white paper that will focus on the key elements of cognitive robotic surgery to help developing this research area.

Topics to be covered

The workshop will cover the following topics (but won’t be limited to):

  • Patient centered system design
  • Modular surgical robots design
  • Surgical robots technology assessment
  • Safety of surgical robots
  • Knowledge- and Model-Based Surgery
  • Perception – Interpretation - Action
  • Telerobotics for MIS
  • Endorobotics
  • Multimodal Tumor Therapy with robots
  • Navigation and Registration for MIS
  • Semantics for robotic surgery
  • Context-aware surgical assistance
  • Surgical skill assessment
  • The role of the training in robotic surgery
  • Surgical workflow analysis and monitoring


  • Paolo Fiorini, University of Verona, Italy
  • Joel Burdick, California Institute of Technology, USA
  • Diego Dall’Alba, University of Verona, Italy
  • Daniel Naftalovich, California Institute of Technology / University of South California, USA


08:30 Registration and Coffee
09:00 Introduction
  Paolo Fiorini, University of Verona, Italy
09:05 Defining the Workflow for Focused Ultrasound Surgery: Key Aspects and Typical Problems
  Arianna Menciassi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy
09:25 Embedding Real Time Cognitive Load Assessment into Surgical Workflow
  Marco Zenati, Harvard Medical School, USA
09:45 Implications of Human Robot Interaction for Continuum Robotics in Cognitive Surgery
  Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
10:05 Surgical Workflow Analysis for Skill Analysis and Situation Awareness
  Pierre Jannin, INSERM, France
10:25 Tea and Coffee Break
11:00 Machine Learning Tools for Surgical Training and Situation Awareness
  Elena de Momi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
11:20 Can we really Automate Abdominal Surgery? Practical examples
  Alberto Arezzo, University of Torino, Italy
11:40 Attentive “OR” for the Support of the Surgeon
  Joerg Raczkowsky, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
12:00 From Data to Cognition: The Analysis of DVRK Data
  Joel Burdick, California Institute of Technology, USA
12:20 Roundtable and Discussion
13:00 Closing Remarks and Lunch


Royal Geographical Society, 
1 Kensington Gore,