Robot-assisted surgery is one of the fastest-growing sectors in robotics, and the introduction of robot awareness is one of the next emerging challenges. Aware surgical robots will assist surgeons and improve their capabilities at different levels of expertise, also enabling autonomous systems in the future. Awareness and Automation in surgery will provide the ability to reach advanced safety and quality standards through cutting-edge control for specific procedures.

Different technologies based on Robot Control, Computer Vision (CV), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Smart Sensors for computer-assisted surgery aim to increase shared autonomy and fluent human-robot interaction in the operating room (OR) while improving the robot’s awareness of the surgical procedure, the OR, and the surgeons’ workflow. Robot control theory enables the development of advanced telerobotic platforms and introduces an augmentation beyond human limits. At the same time, data science and advancements in AI have enabled greater flexibility of autonomous systems in robotic surgery, which are now capable of personalized support for the surgeon.

How can CV, AI, and Smart Sensors provide awareness in this context? Can advanced control and robot awareness lead to safer robotic surgery, bringing surgical technologies to the next generation? And how can AI, autonomous robots and machine awareness be a solution towards safer robotic surgery, bringing surgical technologies into the next generation?

Our invited speakers from Academica, Industry, and Healthcare, along with young researchers through poster presentations, will provide in-depth insight into current developments in surgical robot awareness to address clinical needs. The goal is to encourage discussion on how enhanced control and AI can develop new paradigms for surgical robot awareness for building the next generation of surgical systems. The workshop will conclude with a round table discussion and summary of the day’s presentations giving an overview of the current challenges and highlighting the emerging future perspectives.

Call for abstracts 

  • We invite student participants to present their late-breaking research results in the form of a one-page abstract.
  • Contribution must be submitted to Veronica Penza  by 16th June as one-page abstract (please download the template from here)
  • All submissions will be judged based on relevance to the workshop topic, technical quality, and novelty.
  • The accepted abstracts must present a 3-slide presentation eligible for the best presentation award;
  • At least one author must be present for the 3-mins teaser presentation;
  • The best presentation will be awarded with a cash prize.
  • Authors of selected papers will be invited to submit an extended version of the work to the special issue “Surgical Awareness and Autonomy in Robot-assisted Surgery”, Frontier in Robotics and AI. As a special incentive, the winner will receive a 100% discount on the publication fee, while the other 4 winners will receive a 30% discount. The authors of accepted abstracts can present remotely if they are unable to attend in person.


08:30Registration & Coffee
09:00Opening: Welcome & Introduction
Clinical Perspectives
9:05Keynote: Which robotic platform and which automation may be useful in clinical practice?Prof. Alberto Arezzo, University of Torino
Session I: AI Surgical Perception and Awareness
9:30What a surgical robot should be aware ofDr. Arnaud Huaulmé University of Rennes
10:00Complementing Surgeons with Situation Awareness using Computer Vision Dr. Duygu Sarikaya, University of Leeds
10:30Coffee Break
Session II: Medical Imaging and AI-assisted surgery
11:00Communication in human-robot interaction as the foundation of robotic autonomyProf. Paolo Fiorini, University of Verona
11:30Performance-awareness in computer-assisted and robotic surgery Dr. Evangelos Mazomenos, University College London
12:00Robotic Devices for Assisted and Autonomous Intravenous AccessDr Maria Koskinopoulou, Heriot Watt University
12:30Lunch Break
Session III: Robot Control and Autonomy
13:30Enhanced awareness in catheters and flexible instruments as base for automationDr. Omar Al-Ahmad, KU Leuven
14:00Shared-Control Methods for Assistive Surgical RoboticsProf. Fanny Ficuciello Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II
14:30A robust and data-driven approach for autonomous manipulation of unknown deformable tissues inProf. Farshid Alambeigi, University of Texas
15:00Coffee Break
15:30Poster Session
Industrial Perspective
16:00Robotic solutions for unmet medical needs for microsurgeryEmanuele Ruffaldi, P.h.D., Medical Micro Instruments S.p.A
16:25Pioneering the future of surgeryStefano Pomati, Asensus Surgical US, Inc.
16:50Closing Remarks

Learning Outcomes

This workshop aims to explore the research fields required for the future development of awareness and automation in robotic surgery. Participants will receive a better understanding of cutting-edge new technologies that employ advanced control and AI approaches for the construction of conscious robots. The workshop will give a complete overview of the topic, from clinical needs to big industrial actors, by bringing together renowned experts in Control, AI-Surgical Robotics, Medical Imaging, Surgical Perception, and Cognition.

A final round table will provide the best framework to collect the latest ideas and foster future collaborations for the development of awareness in surgical robotics. Learning outcomes will be:

Recognizing clinical needs for the new era of surgical robots;

Highlighting the most recent AI, vision and robot control applications for the future generation of surgical procedures;

Understanding cognitive and machine awareness, as well as gaining ideas on how to integrate them into surgical systems;

Exploring the opportunities and limitations of enhancing Control and ΑΙ agents in a robotic surgery context;

Ethical issues related to meaningful human control over intelligent machines in the OR;

Update on the state-of-the-art commercial surgical robots and insights into their potential future.


Dr. Veronica Penza, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Dr. Maria Koskinopoulou,  Assistant Professor, Heriot Watt University
Dr. Leonardo De Mattos, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Dr. Rocco Moccia, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Dr. Anh Nguyen, University of Liverpool
Nils Marahrens (PhD Student) University of Leeds
Dr. Baoru Huang, Imperial College London
Dr. Sophia Bano Assistant Professor, University College London
Prof. Danail Stoyanov, University College London
Prof. Fanny Ficuciello, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Prof. Farshid Alambeigi, The University of Texas at Austin


This workshop is accredited for 6 CPD points.






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