About: IROS2018 WS10: Assistive Technologies for Precision Neurosurgery: Current Successes and Future Challenges


The World Economic Summit [Bloom, D. E., et al., The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases, Geneva, 2011] reports that the five main chronic, non-communicative diseases (mental illness, cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes) will cost $47 trillion globally by 2030, with $16 trillion attributed to mental illness. Costs in the United States today are estimated at more than $900 billion annually [PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Annual Cost of Brain Disease in 2012], while “the European Brain Council estimates the cost of brain disease in Europe since January 2014 at nearly €750 billion and rising fast. Europe’s ageing population is increasingly in need of effective care and therapies for brain diseases, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, which represent 35% of the burden of all diseases in Europe” [Banks, J. Neurotechnological Revolution, 2015].
Due to these startling statistics, the world is in desperate need of new technologies, which can drastically improve our ability to tackle brain disease.

This workshop aims to survey the most promising technological breakthroughs arising from the last decades’ worth of scientific and clinical innovation, to ascertain the current neurosurgical landscape and identify existing open challenges and possible ways to address them with robotics. Invited speakers represent academic, clinical and commercial entities, which are at the forefront of neurosurgery today, covering tool sensorization, new brain models and modelling approaches, new mechanisms and new clinical applications that may improve the quality of life of patients.

Topics of interest

The workshop will specifically focus on key robotic technologies within the context of neuro and skull-base surgery organised around the following key themes:

  • Tool sensorization: including shape sensing, intraoperative tool and tissue tracking, Doppler imaging, Raman spectroscopy
  • New mechanisms: including new hardware platforms and surgical systems for research and commercial exploitation.
  • New control approaches: including automatic trajectory tracking, shared control, teleoperation, etc.
  • New clinical applications: including neurosurgical drug delivery, minimally invasive surgery and chronic disease management

> Agenda <

> Invited Speakers <


Riccardo Secoli
Research Associate

Imperial College London (UK)

Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena
Professor in Medical Robotics

Imperial College London (UK)

Elena De Momi
Assistant Professor

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)