Western team wins Best Innovation Prize at the 2015 Surgical Robot Challenge

Western Engineering News | July 15, 2105

A team of researchers from Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics (CSTAR) and Western Engineering recently won the Best Innovation Prize at the Surgical Robot Challenge held during the 2015 Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics in London, UK.

The team, consisting of Anish Naidu, Christopher Ward, Abelardo Escoto, Srikanth Bhattad, Michael Naish and Rajni Patel, received the prize for their entry, "A Dual-Modality Instrument for Minimally Invasive Robotic Palpation to Localize Tumours."

The competition consisted of two rounds. The first round involved submitting a three-minute video online to introduce the team’s work, the purpose of their technology, and to provide a demonstration of their technology in action.

Entries that made it through the first round of judging had the opportunity to fine-tune their videos for the second round held at Imperial College London, UK. At the Symposium, the teams performed a live demonstration and delivered a 10-minute presentation about their work in front of a judging panel consisting of world-renowned experts in robotics-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS) from industry, clinical practice and academia.

Western's team showcased a robotic instrument with ultrasound and tactile sensing — for better tumour localization during MIS in organs such as the lung — when using intraoperative ultrasound alone is not very reliable. The instrument is designed to be compatible with the widely used da Vinci surgical robot.

View Western’s video here for more information:

“I am delighted with the team’s success,” said Rajni Patel, the Director of Engineering at CSTAR and Distinguished University Professor at Western University. “Our entry was based on the master’s thesis research of Anish Naidu, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, under the joint supervision of Professor Michael Naish and myself.”

Patel further explained that the team expects many benefits from the robotic instrument including: higher success rate in localizing tumours during MIS; reduced uncertainty in locating tumour margins; and improved performance of robotics-assisted MIS for tumour resection.