HIT has been recently awarded with a new contract from the European Commission (Project Acronym: SMARTsurg) with the aim to develop an advanced system for performing Robot Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery, in order to reduce the surgeon’s cognitive load related to the system’s operation that will ultimately allow shorter training time, while delivering increased accuracy, safety, reduced MIS procedure time, and expanded applicability. To this end, this project aims to design and develop a wearable interface for a surgical system using a) highly dexterous anthropomorphic surgical instruments b) wearable hand exoskeleton with haptic feedback for controlling the surgical instruments, and c) wearable smart glasses for augmented reality guidance of the surgeon based on real-time 3D reconstruction of the surgical field. High dependability will be achieved by utilising real-time dynamic active constraints to the instruments’ motion, in order to restrict it to the safe regions. SMARTsurg developments will employ a user-centred approach for efficient technology adoption and commercialisation. This will be achieved using short prototyping and testing cycles supported by focused end-user and commercial requirements.

ΗIT provides its technical expertise in the definition of the conceptual architecture of the SMARTsurg platform and also has the role of the integrator of SMARTsurg system modules, participating in system integration, demonstration and evaluation. Finally, HIT is actively involved in the dissemination and exploitation activities of SMARTsurg, participating in the development of the project exploitation and business plans for scaling-up and commercializing its results.

SMARTsurg is an international partnership of ten partners from five countries, including: the University of the West of England/ Bristol Robotics Laboratory (United Kingdom), Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Bristol Urological Institute (BUI) - North Bristol National Health Service Trust (United Kingdom), University of Bristol (United Kingdom), European Institute of Oncology (Italy), TheMIS Orthopaedic Center (Greece), Cybernetix (France), Optinvent SA (France) and HIT Hypertech Innovatins (Cyprus).

Project website: http://smartsurg-project.eu