August 23, 2013

Title: Surgical Vision for Robotically Assisted and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Speaker: Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, FREng, FIEEE, FIET, FAIMBE, Director, The Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London, UK


This lecture outlines major technical challenges, as well as new research opportunities and clinical applications of surgical vision for robotically assisted and minimally invasive surgery. It will first provide a detailed classification of minimally invasive surgical procedures based on different access routes to the target operative anatomy, with example abdominal procedures illustrating extraluminal, intraluminal and transluminal approaches. This will be followed by a historical overview of the development of robotic surgery platforms and how surgical vision and navigation have played a role for practical clinical applications. Unmet clinical requirements and new research opportunities will be discussed and the talk will also highlight parallel developments in biomimetic robotic systems integrated with in situ, in vivo imaging and sensing towards the future evolution of medical robotics. It will cover the latest developments in fully articulated, bio-inspired robot platforms that facilitate intra-luminal or extra-luminal anatomical curved pathway navigation with integrated sensing, vision and navigation. New applications of surgical vision for providing implicit dynamic active constraints under the learning-from-demonstration framework, surgical workflow analysis, and real-time prospective augmented reality using ‘inverse realism’ will be discussed.


Professor Guang-Zhong Yang (FREng, FIEEE, FIET, FAIMBE) is director and co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, UK. Professor Yang also holds a number of key academic positions at Imperial – he is Director and Founder of the Royal Society/Wolfson Medical Image Computing Laboratory, co-founder of the Wolfson Surgical Technology Laboratory, Chairman of the Centre for Pervasive Sensing. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, fellow of IEEE, IET, AIMBE and a recipient of the Royal Society Research Merit Award and listed in The Times Eureka ‘Top 100’ in British Science.

Professor Yang’s main research interests are in medical imaging, sensing and robotics. In imaging, he is credited for a number of novel MR phase contrast velocity imaging and computational modelling techniques that have transformed in vivo blood flow quantification and visualisation. These include the development of locally focused imaging combined with real-time navigator echoes for resolving respiratory motion for high-resolution coronary-angiography, as well as MR dynamic flow pressure mapping for which he received the ISMRM I. I Rabi Award. He pioneered the concept of perceptual docking for robotic control, which represents a paradigm shift of learning and knowledge acquisition of motor and perceptual/cognitive behaviour for robotics, as well as the field of Body Sensor Network (BSN) for providing personalized wireless monitoring platforms that are pervasive, intelligent, and context-aware. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications, edited over 10 books/conference proceedings, numerous research/best paper awards, and a large research grant portfolio from the UK/EU funding bodies, research charities, and industrial sources.

The Hamlyn Centre ( directed by Prof Yang has been established for developing safe, effective and accessible imaging, sensing and robotics technologies that can reshape the future of healthcare for both developing and developed countries. Focusing on technological innovation but with a strong emphasis on clinical translation and direct patient benefit with a global impact, the centre is at the forefront of research in imaging, sensing and robotics for addressing global health challenges associated with demographic, environment, social and economic changes. The Centre plays an active role in international collaboration and outreach activities, as well as in the training of surgeons and engineers in robotic technologies, thereby facilitating a fully integrated clinical approach. It has extensive research, engineering laboratory spaces at the South Kensington campus of Imperial, large pre-clinical facilities at Northwick Park with state-of-the art imaging and surgical equipment for in vivo validation, and comprehensive clinical laboratories at the Surgical Innovation Centre at Imperial College St Mary’s Hospital.

In addition to its core research activities, the Centre offers comprehensive PhD and MRes programmes for researchers with a strong technical or clinical background. These programmes are designed to develop cutting edge, disruptive technologies and blue-sky ideas; yet will be appropriate and accessible to both developing and developed countries for addressing different needs of the healthcare challenges with a common ground for technological innovations. Through its endowment fund and close working relationship with industry, government and non-government organisations, the Centre also offers Advanced Fellowships, International Fellowships, Faculty Exchange Programmes, and Research Secondment for specific research projects and technical areas.