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Toronto Team Wins First Place in Hamlyn Robotics Symposium for Surgical Robotics Challenge

A Toronto team based at the Hospital for Sick Children took first place in the Hamlyn Robotics Symposium for the Surgical Robotics challenge.

CIGITI team showing the Concentric Tube Tool for the DaVinci Research Kit

The Hamilyn Robotics Symposium is hosted by Imperial College in London, and has become one of the largest international meetings devoted to surgical robotics. The Toronto-based team for the robotics challenge was Karl Price, Kunh Upadhyaya; Thomas Looi; Kyle Eastwood; Vivek Bodani; Dale Podolsky; Hamidreza Azimian all from the CIGITI lab (Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention), led by Professor James Drake of the Hospital for Sick Children/Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (UofT).

The contest was for the best robotic development on a DaVinci test kit or other similar robotic systems, where there is full access to both the hardware and software. The goal of the contest was to tackle some of the unmet technical/clinical challenges in robotic surgery. There were 26 original proposals, reduced to 18 from robotic centres from around the world including major medical robotic centres at John Hopkins, Stanford, UBC, CSTARR at the University of Western Ontario, Imperial college London, etc.

The winning project presented by the CIGITI team was entitled “A Concentric Tube Tool for the DaVinci Research Kit“, which was a novel miniaturized 1.4 mm concentric tube grasping forceps which attaches to a DaVinci system. The tool can be used for many applications including intraventricular neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, and trans-oral surgery. The novelty includes its’ very small size and the ability to rapidly the tools called “hot swapping”. The team presented the tool in a live demonstration to the judge’s panel, and made it to the final four by winning the “best design” category. The final four teams then presented to the whole symposium group, with the Toronto team taking home first place, which included a cash award, plaque, and registration for the 9th annual Hamlyn Robotics Symposium which will be held next year. As Professor James Drake says, “I think the biggest impact for us, was the positive effects of team work – enginners and surgeons working side by side to create a robotic surgical tool, invigorated by the challenge contest, working to what seemed like an impossible deadline”. Their teams’ success is a true testament to what can be done when brilliant minds are put together, fostering collaboration, teamwork and creating solutions to today’s challenges. We wish them all the best in next year’s competition!

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