Science and Technologies Of Robotics in Medicine

At the STORM Lab we strive to improve the quality of life for people undergoing flexible endoscopy and laparoscopic surgery by creating affordable and intelligent robotic solutions.

The research focus of the Science and Technologies Of Robotics in Medicine (STORM) Lab spans several fields of surgical robotics, with particular focus on medical capsule robots, robotic endoscopy, affordable medical devices and autonomy in robotic surgery. We aim to design technologies that have the potential to transform healthcare, improving the outcome for patients and widening accessibility of screening, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in low-income countries.

Our Expertise

Magnetic Manipulation

As this phenomenon can be harnessed to transmit motions across a physical barrier; our aim is to apply the engineering knowledge on magnetic coupling to transmit forces across the abdominal wall, reducing the number of incisions to one, and exploiting magnetic coupling in order to control surgical instruments.

Capsule Localisation

Magnocap is designed to be inserted into the gastrointestinal tract and then be positioned inside the body using magnetic coupling. The magnetic force is controlled via a robotic arm above the patient and can be used to not only position the capsule, but produce the movements necessary for ultrasound imaging.

Soft Robotics

To provide an ultra-low-cost option for gastric cancer screening in rural areas of low-income countries. The soft robot, ‘bellowscope’ project aims to deliver an equivalent, or improved range of motion when compared to traditional endoscopes, while being low-cost and disposable.

Our Research Projects

Affordable Intelligent Endoscopy

As the World Health Organization (WHO) recently highlighted, sustainable development in low resource countries will be hard to achieve unless the international health and development community addresses the enormous global burden of surgical conditions. There is an urgent need to scale-up surgical services to prevent them becoming a major barrier to national income growth, economic productivity, and improved human welfare.

The Bellowscope

The system aims to deliver an equivalent, or improved range of motion when compared to traditional endoscopes, while being low-cost and disposable.

The Hydrojet

Water-jet actuation inside a portable platform with disposable components and autonomous operation based on image analysis and feature extraction.

Medical Capsule Robots

Capsule robots are mesoscale devices that leverage extreme miniaturization to access environments that are out of reach of larger robots and that can push the boundaries of how diseases are diagnosed and treated. In medicine, capsule robots can enter the human body through natural orifices or small incisions and perform diagnostics and therapeutics while minimizing the invasiveness of the procedure.

The Magnetic Flexible Endoscope

We are pioneering a new design of endoscope that will enable faster, painless, low cost investigations.

Magnetically Guided Ultrasound

A pioneering capsule capable of performing diagnostic ultrasound within the gastrointestinal tract.

Robotic Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is unique technique to access, diagnose and operate on the internal organs of the human body through tiny incisions without damaging/cutting the skin layers. With our activities, we try to improve minimally invasive surgery via innovative robotic approaches.

Magnetic Tentacles

We are exploring the idea of using miniature magnetic tentacles to reach many areas of the body that are currently difficult for surgeons to access.

Da Vinci® Research Kit

We are developing strategies for shared control of the dVRK as well as advanced learning techniques, in order to allow a close collaboration between the surgeon and its robotic assistant.

Magnetic Actuation of Surgical Instruments

Using magnetic coupling to transmit forces across the abdominal wall, reducing the number of incisions to one, and exploiting magnetic coupling in order to control surgical instruments.

Collaborators and Partners

Securing partnerships and collaborators helps us progress our pioneering research.  As our projects diversify; these groups continued involvement and new relationships allows us to work towards our goals.

intu
esp
1200px-European_Research_Council_logo.svg
kuka
medtornic
nihjr
rs2

I am developing a small robotic device to replace the conventional colonoscope. This new robot could allow live images and tissue biopsies to be taken of the colon. It has the potential to be a simple and effective procedure with minimal patient discomfort – improving on some of the main drawbacks of the current procedure.

Joseph Norton

Medical Robotics Research Fellow

The latest developments from the STORM Lab

Robotic colonoscopy platform featured by BBC Digital Planet

BBC Digital Planet reporter Madeleine Finlay visited the International Robotics Conference and discussed with Joe Norton, a postdoctoral researcher part of the team involved with the robotic colonoscopy platform about
Read More

Sonopill feasibility study published in Science Robotics

STORM Lab engineers have helped show it is technically possible to guide a tiny robotic capsule inside the colon to take micro-ultrasound images. Known as a Sonopill, the device could
Read More

2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

The STORM Lab team are presenting three works at the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 20-24. The three papers investigated different control strategies for the
Read More

Useful links

1280px-University_of_Leeds_Logo.svg
nihr-mic-logo-large
ral
irass
NEXUS_logo_RGB_2