Flexible endoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosis and minimally invasive intervention of various clinical conditions. Nevertheless, several factors including patient discomfort, complex workflows, and steep learning curve for clinicians, are limiting the uptake and effectiveness of these procedures. Robotic endoscopy promises major advantages in terms of reduced patient discomfort, faster and more accurate procedures, and reduced learning curve. In particular, soft robotic systems are ideally suited to safely interact with soft tissues due to their inherent compliance and light weight.

In spite of the advances in the field of soft robotics, several technical challenges still need to be overcome for these systems to become part of clinical practice. Among these, the ability to navigate internal organs and to exert sufficient forces for common surgical procedures, such as suturing or resection, remain open problems. This workshop aims to provide an overview of the main technical challenges specific to soft robotics for endoscopy and endoluminal surgery, and to discuss the latest solutions to address unmet needs.


12:30Lunch Break
13:30Opening: Welcome & Introduction
13:35From Stiff-flop to soft growing robotsProf Kaspar Althoefer
14:05Engineering, modelling, and autonomous steering of miniature everting growing robotsDr Christos Bergeles
14:35Toward First-in-Human with Concentric Tube and Push-Pull RobotsProf Bob Webster
15:00Coffee Break
15:30Lifesaving Magnetic TentaclesProf Pietro Valdastri
16:00Establishing a soft robotic platform for LMICDr Shen Treratanakulchai
16:30Pop-up soft robots with on-board actuation and sensingDr George Mylonas
16:55Closing Remarks

Learning Outcomes 

Drawing on their vast experience, recognised experts in the field will discuss the key advantages of soft robotics for endoscopy and endoluminal surgery, and the main technical challenges that need to be addressed for these systems to become part of clinical practice. In addition, the workshop will provide a glimpse on the latest advances in actuation, sensing, control and guidance for soft robotic systems intended for endoscopic surgery.

The workshop will end with a round table session to summarise the key points of the individual talks and to discuss the main challenges to be addressed in the coming years.


Dr. Enrico Franco, Imperial College London
Dr. Arnau Garriga Casanovas, Imperial College London


This workshop is accredited for 3 CPD points.






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13:30 – 17:00