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Shrinking the Cutting Edge: Making Small-Scale Medical Robots for Humans

ICRA 2023 Full Day Workshop Monday 29th May 2023
Icra 23

This workshop brings together experienced researchers and students to discuss the state of the art, the technical problems, and the challenges of small-scale medical robots. From a science fiction vision of miniaturizing robots to access remote regions in the human body, the field of small-scale robotics has witnessed an astonishing evolution in the last decade. This evolution has been fostered by a highly interdisciplinary approach involving roboticists, material scientists, physicists, computer scientists, and medical doctors.

It is time for the small-scale medical robotics community to identify the issues preventing applications on real medical challenges. In this framework, the workshop will bring together this community to explore both the scientific and the robotic core of small-scale medical robotics. The workshop will include two vision talks, keynotes, and invited talks covering four main topics which support this vision:

  1. imaging and tracking in vivo;
  2. control in medical settings;
  3. materials and fabrication strategies;
  4. smart nanomedicine.

Location: South Gallery Room 27

Schedule & speakers

Monday 29th May 2023

9:00 9:10 Registration and Opening
9:10 9:40 Vision talk
Brad Nelson, ETH Zurich
Platform Technologies for Microrobotics
9:40 10:30 Session 1
Imaging and tracking of small-scale robots in vivo
9:40 10:00 Keynote talk
Sylvain Martel, Polytechnique Montréal
Compensating the limitation of imaging technologies with more autonomous small-scale medical robots
10:00 10:15 Invited talk
Arianna Menciassi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa
Novel microrobot imaging strategies toward closed-loop control in tissues
10:15 10:30 Invited talk
Kai Fung Chan, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Image-guided microrobotic platform for endoluminal interventions in the gastrointestinal tract
10:30 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 11:50 Session 2
Control of small-scale medical robots
11:00 11:20 Keynote talk
Sarthak Misra, University of Twente
Wireless control of miniaturized agents
11:20 11:35 Invited talk
Pietro Valdastri, University of Leeds
Controlling magnetic tentacle robots for endoluminal applications
11:35 11:50 Invited talk
Tiantian Xu, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Independent control strategy of multiple small-scale magnetic flexible swimming robots
11:50 12:30 Flash talks with troubleshooting
12:30 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 14:30 Poster session
14:30 15:00 Vision talk
Philip Chiu, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Future of Surgery: Cutting at the microscopic scale
15:00 15:50 Session 3
Materials and fabrication strategies for small-scale robots
15:00 15:20 Keynote talk
Wei Gao, California Institute of Technology
Imaging guided ingestible microrobots
15:20 15:35 Invited talk
Ambarish Ghosh, Indian Institute of Science
Multifunctional helical nanorobots: from cancer to dentistry
15:35 15:50 Invited talk
Mariana Medina Sánchez, Institute for Integrative Nanosciences - IFW Dresden
From 2D to 4D lithography of untethered microrobots
15:50 16:20 Coffee break
16:20 17:10 Session 4
Smart nanomedicine
16:20 16:40 Keynote talk
Simone Schuerle, ETH Zurich
Engineering and spatially selective control of biohybrid and bioinspired microrobots for locally enhanced drug delivery of nanomedicine
16:40 16:55 Invited talk
Lianqing Liu, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Magnetic Continuum Robot with Multi-Mode Control for Cross-scale accurate drug delivery
16:55 17:10 Talk
Stefano Palagi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa
CELLOIDS: towards cell-inspired autonomous microrobots
17:10 18:00 Roundtable + Awards
Flash talks with troubleshooting

These talks will consist of

  • a 3-minutes presentation of the work (flash talk)
  • a 1-minute presentation of open issues in the work (even practical problems), where you can ask for help from one or more invited speakers
  • a 5-minutes discussion, where experienced researchers give suggestions on how to solve the research problems (troubleshooting)

Selected talks:

  1. Swana, Matimba; Ives, Jonathan; Hauert, Sabine. Investigating the ethical and regulatory complexity of in-human testing of collective nanoswarm cancer therapies
  2. Wijewardhane, Neshika; Piddini, Eugenia; Hauert, Sabine. Autonomous Light-Based Robotic Control of Cellular Dynamics for Wound Healing
  3. Francescon, Vittorio; Murasovs, Nikita; Lloyd, Peter; Onaizah, Onaizah; Katudampe Vithanage, Damith; Valdastri, Pietro. Closed Loop Adaptive Control for Improved Shape-Forming Control in Magnetic Soft Continuum Robot
  4. Isitman, Ogulcan; Alcan, Gokhan; Kyrki, Ville. Collaborative Magnetic Manipulation: From Micro to Meso Scale


Each poster will also be introduced by a 1-minute video presentation.

Accepted posters:

  1. Zhang, Zhiyuan; Daniel, Ahmed. Acoustic actuating microrobots for micromanipulation and healthcare
  2. Brockdorff, Michael; da Veiga, Tomas; Davy, Joshua; Lloyd, Peter; Chandler, James H.; Pittiglio, Giovanni; Valdastri, Pietro. Path Planning in Magnetic Space for Two Robotically Actuated Permanent Magnets
  3. Pancaldi, Lucio; Ozelci, Ece; Sakar, Selman M. Flow driven robotic navigation of microengineered endovascular probe
  4. Gu, Hongri; Möckli, Marino; Ehmke, Claas; Kim, Minsoo; Wieland, Matthias; Moser, Simon; Bechinger, Clemens; Boehler, Quentin; Nelson, Bradley J. Self-folding soft robotic chains for minimally invasive surgeries
  5. Toledo, Dennis; Khizroev, Sakhrat. Magnetoelectric Nanoparticles as Wireless Nanoelectrodes for Neuromodulation
  6. Yang, Lidong; Jiang, Jialin; Gao, Xiaojie; Wang, Qinglong; Dou, Qi; Zhang, Li. Autonomous environment-adaptive microrobot swarm navigation enabled by deep learning-based real-time distribution planning
  7. Murasovs, Nikita; Francescon, Vittorio; Lloyd, Peter; Lecce, Michele; Chathuranga, Damith; Pittiglio, Giovanni; Onaizah, Onaizah; Chandler, James; and Valdastri, Pietro. Compensating For The Human Respiratory Cycle Via Magnetic Robotic Bronchoscopy
  8. Huang, Yun; Guo, Jianhe; Li, Yufan; Li, Huaizhi; Fan, Donglei (Emma). 2D-Material-Integrated Micromachines: Design, Fabrication, Competing Propulsion Strategy and Application


The awards will be granted by a dedicated committee including the Organizers and three experts selected among the invited speakers.

Hybrid format

All presentations will be streamed to our online participants through the InfoVaya Conference App and hosted on Zoom.
Virtual attendees will be able to observe the session and submit questions through the Zoom chat function. One of the organisers will monitor the questions from remote participants and field them in the workshop room. Prospective questions and discussion topics for the roundtable will be collected all day from both in-presence and online participants. Posters will be displayed all day and will also be accessible in digital format for those attending online.