Many surgical procedures involve three or four surgical tools, thus requiring the surgeon to cooperate with one or several assistants.

However, the coordination between the primary surgeon and assistant may require significant effort, in particular when working with a novice assistant or a new team. Current robotic systems include hand interfaces enabling skilful bimanual operation.

For example, the Da Vinci system (Intuitive Surgical Inc.) is equipped with a built-in master console enabling the surgeon to teleoperate and switch instruments. Could a “Doctor Octopus” surgeon control all three/four surgical tools simultaneously as intuitively as his own limbs? This workshop will provide a platform to discuss the possibility and methods to augment a surgeon’s abilities to control multiple surgical tools all by themselves, which may minimise communication issues in the operation room and saving manpower.

Four engineers and clinicians working in related fields will present their research and discuss the issues to extend surgeon abilities and autonomy. There will also be a live Q&A session allowing the audience to join the discussion. This workshop will provide opportunities to discuss the feasibility of augmented surgical operation and explore suitable surgical procedures where such a setup would be beneficial.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the human ability to conduct three-handed tasks
  • Explore the opportunities and limitations of controlling the laparoscope using the foot
  • Investigate foot interface design and its control paradigm in three-handed surgery
  • Introduce a semi-automated solution to command the laparoscope.
  • Explain the evolution of the primary surgeon and their assistant’s roles with different surgical approaches from open to minimally invasive (laparoscopic, robotic and endoscopic) surgery
  • Understand how technological advances can enable the primary surgeon to operate independently without the need for assistants.
  • Knowledge of the current state-of-art hand-free body interface for robotic surgery


This workshop is worth 1.5 CPD points, please register to qualify for certification.

Free Registration. Times are in BST