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Robot world visits the Innovative Surgical Robotics Forum 2015 at Cavendish Conference Centre

April 1, 2015

Robot world visits the Innovative Surgical Robotics Forum 2015

On March 18, the Cavendish Conference Centre London hosted the Innovative Surgical Robotics Forum 2015, which was held this year by King’s College London. Robot world has looked at the conference and talked with some very interesting people.

The Cavendish Conference Centre in London

The Cavendish Conference Centre is located in a pretty side street, about 5 minutes walk from Oxford Circus tube station. With a few subtle signs bearing the name and logo of the Centre, participants have the path to the entrance, after which it goes down some stairs directly into the venue. Upon entering the lower space, the first lecture speech can be heard, somewhat subdued, but quite clearly through the corridors. I’m a little late, good to recognize the temporary but not unoccupied desk, which is immediately taken by a fast approaching, very friendly lady again. After I say my name and she presents the card, she notes, “Oh, Helge has already said that you would come.”

Helge, this is Dr. Helge A. Würdemann, a research fellow at King’s College & EU project manager, and our very dedicated point of contact for the organization of participation or interviews. Together with Prof. Kaspar Althöfer (also King’s College), he is in collaboration with Innovate UK and the EU Commission who asked both to take care of the welcome, coordination and good condition of speakers and guests present.

The Chair of the committee meeting Area for clinical perspective

After I plugged my name tag with the associated companies reference, I go at once down a short staircase to the auditorium. As I enter the room, speaking was Phil Williams of the Knowledge Transfer Network in a greeting. I sit right in the second row, because at the front I can see and hear all to know it better. It occurs to me that scientists must probably have a notorious sense of sweets. In addition to the usual water bottles and glasses that can be found on every table, there is a small bowl with colorful candies and chewy – for me personally a very excellent idea, even if the motives behind it are probably more practical.

Almost from the moment I sit, I have the opportunity to hear Dr. Althöfer speak, with whom I would share later in the day a very pleasant interview. He explains with pride how the Forum has developed in just a few years by a meeting of several EU projects for the exchange of knowledge and experience through today’s event, and in the meantime, how the industry has been successfully involved.

Prof. Kaspar Althöfer

Immediately after he enters, Chris Sawyer of Innovate UK is at the podium and draws a picture of the importance of the robotic implementation in British society. Because of course the United Kingdom faces an ageing population due to demographical changes, their share is growing visible to persons aged 65 years and over, and robotics is regarded as a necessary step of counteracting this. For the UK it involves, according to Chris Sawyer in the field of medical robotics after all, a market development investment by an impressive 21 Billion British pounds. That converts to € 29,237,416,740.

After Chris Sawyer left the stage, the “stars” of the conference were briefly: the EU projects STIFF-FLOP (Prof. Kaspar Althöfer), CASCADE (Dr. Emmanuel Vander Poorten), μRalp (microRalp; Dr. Leonardo de Mattos) and Remedi (Prof. Angelika Peer). In the ensuing coffee break in the neighboring room, it was also possible for all participants to examine these experiment design via the exhibitor stands.

Presentation level of the EU project Remedi

The other event is now divided into three areas: clinical, academic and industrial perspective (which I unfortunately was not able to follow) to which different speakers in a designated time frame, each about 20 minutes on the use of robotics in specific areas of surgery speak.

Professor Guang-Zhong Yang on “Surgical Robots – from whole body systems to hand-held manipulators”

Overall, I was on that day nearly seven hours at the conference, before I had to go.What I can say so far is that it was an absolutely informative and interesting experience for me, but especially the Forum made a really nice impression. Initially I was not intimidated by the essential part of the event, but I had my respect for it. Finally, it is not too often that I come into contact with distinguished professors and EU experts. I was proud to be have been there, mainly because the entire personal environment and dealing with each other was so pleasant. Not to mention the insight into topics that I would not have met under normal circumstances.

So thank you again Dr. Helge A. Würdemann and Prof. Kaspar Althöfer for the very friendly reception, the organization and the interview, as well as Dr. Ulrich Seibold by DLR and Prof. Dr. Angelika Peer and Bartlomiej Stanczyk (Remedi ), which I also interviewed.
Dana Neumann – – editor


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