Submissions for our annual Surgical Robot Challenge are now closed. The challenge will run again 2025 and calls will be announced in November 2024.

This global competition draws participation from top surgical robotics groups worldwide, providing a platform to unveil inventive concepts across various surgical robot platforms.

While applications are open to diverse focus areas, submissions should highlight innovation, practical application, and thoughtful design in showcasing how robots can enhance surgical procedures. The ultimate goal is to contribute to quicker recovery times, smaller scars, reduced blood loss, diminished pain, earlier return to work, and shorter hospital stays.

Applications will be assessed on the following areas:

  • Application
  • Innovation
  • Design

There will be an online award ceremony in April/May (date TBC) and the winning teams will be given free registration to attend the Hamlyn Symposium on 26-27th June.

New for 2024: We will also invite a selection of the most visually compelling demos (not necessarily the winning entries) to the symposium to showcase their entry! Those invited will be granted free registration to the symposium.

Entries are encouraged to incorporate a newly developed aspect, building upon existing ideas. While submissions are ideally expected to manifest as final working prototypes, the judging panel will also evaluate designs and plans. The emphasis is on introducing innovative elements to enhance the overall concept, whether through advancements in functionality, efficiency, or other relevant criteria.

We welcome applications from institutions globally, and all applicants must have affiliations with academic organizations. While we do accept applications from the industry, it is imperative that they collaborate with an academic institution to be eligible for consideration. This collaborative approach ensures a synergistic relationship between academic and industrial expertise in the submitted applications.

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • online entry form (below);
  • a 2-minute video demo of their entry;
  • a 5-slide powerpoint presentation.

Please note the video time and presentation slide limits are strictly enforced.

Deadline for applications now extended: 23:59 GMT 31st March 2024


Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the competition have a particular focus, such as testing, sterilisation or awareness?
There is no special focus – we are looking for any entries that demonstrate innovation, application and design in how robots can improve procedures leading to quicker recovery, smaller scars, less blood loss, less pain, earlier return to work and less stay in hospital.
Does the entry have to be an entirely new system, or will adaptations of existing systems be accepted?
There should be some newly developed aspect to your entry, but it can be based on an existing idea.
Are entries expected to be final working prototypes, or would designs and plans be accepted?
A working prototype is preferable, but the judging panel will consider designs and plans.
Do entrants have to be associated with an academic organisation to enter?
Yes. We are happy to accept entries from industry, however these must be in partnership with an academic institution. We ask that the academic partner makes the application to enter.
Can international teams apply?
Yes. We welcome entries from research groups around the world.
Can previous entrants to the challenge apply?
Only if the entry is completely different to any previous submissions.

Please contact Marianne Knight if you have any further questions not covered here.


Winners 2023

Best Application
Haptic assistance for improving skill transfer in surgical robotics training, NEARLab-MRS, Politecnico di Milano

Best Design
MERODES – The Medical Robot Device System, Imaging Robotics, Innovation Center Computer Assisted Surgery (ICCAS)

Best Innovation
Cardiothread, a living, beating heart cell suture for cardiac repair, Biotechnology, Oxnard College, California

All 2023 entries can be viewed here.