Continuum Robots for Minimally Invasive Surgery: Smaller, Softer, and Smarter

30 April 2018 - 11:30am to 12:15pm
Ainsworth Bulding J17, Level 1, Room 111

Liao Wu
Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow with Queensland University of Technology

–  All Welcome  –



Medical robots have seen significant growth worldwide recently. It is estimated that around 10,700 sets of medical robots will be supplied in the market between 2018 and 2020. Although some medical robots have achieved commercial success, the robotics community is putting continuous efforts to make robotic surgery safer, easier, and less invasive. In this talk, I will introduce a new type of robots, the continuum robots, for the application of minimally invasive surgery. Due to the intrinsic flexibility and the ability to be scaled down, the continuum robots are excellent candidates for robotic minimally invasive surgery. Instrumentation, human-robot interaction, and shape and force sensing have been identified as three grand challenges in the development of continuum robots for medical applications. In this talk, I will introduce our efforts to address these challenges. Paticularly, I will introduce two classes of continuum robots, the concentric tube robots and the cable-driven robots, that have been investigated for a variety of medical procedures recently, and discuss the possibility of combining these two mechanisms to achieve better outcomes. Finally, I will share my individual perspective on the trends of the development of medical robots.



Liao Wu received the BS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2008 and 2013, respectively. From 2013 to 2015, he was a Research Fellow at National University of Singapore. Since 2016, he has been a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow with Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, and affiliated with the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, an ARC Centre of Excellence founded since 2014. His research mainly focuses on medical and industrial robotics. He is particularly interested in fundamental theories such as kinematics, calibration, and application of Lie groups theory in robotics. He is also fascinated by engineering techniques for the development of mechatronic systems for medical applications.


 For more information, please contact Prof Chun Wang

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