Tutorials and workshops


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Workshop on Robotic Microsurgery and Image-Guided Surgical Interventions

Dr. Leonardo Mattos, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy
Dr. Sarthak Misra, MIRA - Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine (Robotics & Mechatronics), University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands


Microsurgeries are demanding operations that required high precision and dexterity. They also represent a surgical area in which robotics can have a deep impact, helping surgeons perform more precise and safer operations, or even pioneer previously impossible procedures. A number of robotic systems are already being used clinically for microsurgeries, including, for example, robotic catheters, neurosurgery robots and even the Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci system. In addition, many other are being developed around the globe in numerous research centers. This full-day workshop will provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art in this area and offer an open platform for surgeons and engineers to discuss recent findings, unmet needs, major research issues and new research opportunities, including research on microsurgical systems design and control, surgeon-robot interfaces, imaging, surgical planning and safety.

Workshop on Robotics for Neuro-rehabilitation: Paradigm Change for a Real Technological and Clinical Breakthrough?

Stefano Mazzoleni, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy
Rui Loureiro, Middlesex University, London, England

The use of robotic systems for rehabilitation is increasingly providing important results through several experimental clinical trials. The design, development and validation of such systems represent a challenging research topic of interest both in the bioengineering and clinical field. This workshop will:

  • will provide state-of-the-art descriptions of an innovative and challenging field of bioengineering and clinical interest, including human-machine interaction.
  • will be focused on robot-assisted rehabilitation which is a topic of currently active research.
  • will explore novel ways of linking up rehabilitation research across the world. In particular how we can get feasible technologies and infrastructures in third world countries.
  • will promote interactions of participants to exchange ideas, discuss recent research results, explore new directions in research and technological transfer, and propose international focus groups on specific areas of research interest.

Workshop on Control of Physical Interaction

Dagmar Sternad, Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, USA.
Neville Hogan, Mechanical Engineering, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, USA.

How do humans manage their actions and interactions with the physical world? How do we learn new skills, how do we recover after neural injury? Can we learn about human control by studying robots? Can we learn how to better control robots by studying humans? And can this knowledge enable seamless and productive human-robot cooperation between humans and robots? This symposium will bring together researchers who have addressed this problem from a broad range of perspectives, both biological and robotic.

Workshop on Physiology and Robotics, a Happy Marriage

Arturo Forner Cordero, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Jacques Duysens, KULeuven, Belgium

Several technological advances have benefitted from looking at examples from nature. The same is true for robotics, where it is very fruitful to apply basic physiological principles, as derived from animal research and from human experimentation. Understanding human standing and gait can help in designing more “physiological” robotic devices. Inversely, robotics can also be very useful to learn more about the basic regulation of gait. For example, precise perturbations can be applied with the help of an exoskeleton at different phases of the step cycle to study the responses of the human central nervous system. Another example is to use robotic assistance to study the difference between active and passive walking movements. In recent years it was even possible to record brain activities in different ways (from EEG to NIRS) under these conditions, thereby opening the way to future control of robotic assistance by means of a BCI (Brain Computer Interface). Another approach to improve such future control is the use of statistical methods to predict the movements of a lower limb exoskeleton. Finally, the role of virtual reality will be highlighted in the context of rehabilitation training.