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Surgical Robot Challenge 2016 Now Open For Entries From International Teams

by Nicky Davis , Director, NeonDrum Ltd
London, United Kingdom, 18th December 2015 – The world’s pioneering researchers in robotic surgery are invited to showcase their innovative work by taking part in the Surgical Robot Challenge 2016. The Surgical Robot Challenge is open for entry from today, and the competition finals will be held from 20 – 27 June 2016 at the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics in London, as part of the first ever UK Robotics Week. Full details of the competition and how to enter can be found at: http://roboticsweek.uk/surgicalrobotchallenge.htm.

This international competition annually showcases cutting-edge advances in surgical robot technologies. Teams from around the world will be bringing their surgical robots to London in June to demonstrate their latest innovations. Each team will be given 3 hours to set up and demonstrate their technologies to an independent judging panel of leading surgeons and pioneers in the field, competing for a prize fund of 10,000 GBP.

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The first Surgical Robot Challenge took place in June 2015, with 20 teams from around the world demonstrating their surgical robot technologies. The winning design was a concentric tube robot – a miniature snake-like robot, only a few millimetres in diameter, which can be controlled from the popular da Vinci® Surgical System console. Other winning designs included a minimally invasive robot instrument that can both look and feel for cancer deep within the body using a combined ultrasound probe and pressure sensor array, and an automatic camera control robot that frees the surgeon from the task of camera manipulation so that they can concentrate on high-level decision making and precise control of their surgical instruments.

The competition is being organised by the EPSRC UK-RAS Network, a network of leading UK universities that specialise in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. The competition is open to international competitors, some of which will be using technology from Intuitive Surgical and KUKA Robotics, with the aim of fostering collaboration, sharing resources and tackling the most complex technical and clinical challenges in robotic surgery.

Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Director and Co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery at Imperial College London and Chair of the EPSRC UK-RAS Network commented: "The Surgical Robot Challenge 2016 is a unique forum to see the latest innovations in surgical robotics. This prestigious competition offers a fantastic opportunity to share ideas and improve surgical outcomes for everyone."
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