This proposal addresses the development of technologies for automation in minimally invasive and open surgery. We narrow the scope of the work by focusing on simple surgical actions, such as puncturing, cutting and suturing. We define success metrics for those surgical actions and then develop methods that abide by safety requirements, formulated in terms of our metrics. We aim at demonstrating that an autonomous robotic surgical action, carried out with the technologies developed by the project, can be as safe as currently achievable by traditional surgery.
The main innovative aspects of this project are:
1- Research driven by surgeon-developed requirements.
2- Emphasis on scientific rigor: development of a methodology founded on statistical evidence.
3- Scope: surgical planning and execution are considered for development and validation.
Along with considering the above surgical phases, I-SUR focuses on innovative development of methods for the following technologies:
* Soft organ registration and calibration, including patient pathologies and anatomical variants.
* Surgical action planning in deformable environments.
* Intra-operative sensing and automatic understanding of surgical situation.
* Surgeon-robot communication
New methods are integrated and validated on a specially designed robotic instrument, with respect to two inherently different contexts (abdominal and vascular surgery). We quantitatively validate the adherence of our methods to the success criteria, using surgical phantoms and biological samples. By comparing across surgical contexts we draw conclusions about the generality of our approach.
The I-SUR consortium comprises:
· Hospitals with worldwide reputation, which provide medical knowledge and can validate our approach
· Europe’s leading research groups in surgical robotics
· Europe’s leading research groups in robot design
· Renowned educational organizations, to innovate surgeon training methods