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  • May 10, 2022

  • May 11, 2022

  • In this compelling and impactful keynote session, Rich Mahoney, Vice President Research at Intuitive, the pioneering developer of advanced robotic systems for minimally invasive surgery, will discuss the opportunity for healthcare robotics solutions to expand access to quality healthcare, with corresponding improvements in outcomes and quality of life. He will also highlight the special role and responsibility of engineers to achieve these important goals.

  • In this keynote presentation, Adam Sachs, CEO and Co-founder of Vicarious Surgical, will discuss the ways in which the Vicarious Surgical robotic system is driving the field of minimally invasive surgery forward. He will also describe some of the challenges and opportunities the company faced as it set out to innovate in the healthcare space. Sachs will explain why the field needed a push, the innovations the Vicarious Surgical robotic system brings to patient care, and the unique, collaborative approach Vicarious Surgical is taking to the design and development phase of its work.

  • For people with disabilities, mobile manipulators can provide many meaningful benefits. Yet to date, fully capable mobile manipulation systems have been too large, heavy and expensive to be practical. In this engaging session, Charlie Kemp, director of the Healthcare Robotics Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Co-founder of Hello Robot, a provider of mobile manipulation systems, will describe the R&D process that resulted in Hello Robot’s Stretch RE1, a compact and lightweight mobile manipulator that achieves a new level of affordability. Healthcare-related work by the growing community of researchers and developers using the Stretch system will also be highlighted.

  • Designing a robot arm for a medical application presents many challenges, one being the correct design of the joint. To balance performance, cost, and mass inside a specified a volume, choices (and compromises) must be made. Making the correct decisions about the primary components in robotic joints - motors, encoders, gears and drives - results in joint designs that correctly balance performance, cost, mass and volume. In this session, Novanta’s Mark Holcomb will review the critical joint components, highlighting the unique properties of each that allow for a successful joint design. He will highlight the key motor, encoder and drive features to look for when designing a joint for a medical application.
    Enabling Technologies Track

  • For healthcare robotics products, accelerated product development is critical to achieve faster time to market. Through virtual development, next generation robotics systems can be developed quickly and tested with high fidelity. Further integration of virtual development methods into the regulatory process with ASME V&V40 and FDA guidance allows for more confidence to grow with these methods in the medical device industry.

    In this session, Stress Engineering Services’ Douglas Marriott will describe how virtual development methods and machine learning can be applied for the development of healthcare robotics systems, including usability evaluation by incorporating augmented reality as part of the development process. He will also detail how the use of virtual development environments be transitioned into a digital twin of the in-field digital environment allowing real-time monitoring, complaint monitoring, in-field training, data collection, and pushing further development updates.
    Design & Development Track

  • While the role of robotics in healthcare has been fairly well established over the last few decades, recent advancements in technology and social acceptance of collaborative applications has accelerated the development of new medical uses and adoption. Now, robots are supporting a wide variety of healthcare applications ranging from rehabilitation to surgery and on to cancer treatments. In fact, in some segments of the healthcare industry, lacking a robotic system could is a competitive disadvantage. But what does the today’s opportunity landscape look like for this industry? And how will it change with the current health crisis?

    This presentation will examine the modern state of healthcare robotics, including the different technologies and current cultural drivers that are pushing for wider adoption. The speaker will draw on his experiences in the industry to provide the audience with both a detailed history of how robots have supported medical applications over the years, and how he envisions the sector evolving over time. Attendees will be provided with actionable advice they can use to identify opportunities in the healthcare robotics space, and how to prepare for the coming years.
    Management & Opportunity Track

  • Advanced medical tools and robotic-assisted surgical systems require precise localization information in order to perform tasks such as tool/instrument positioning/orientation or relative patient and device positioning within a surgical space. The added visibility from positioning solutions help improve efficiency, performance/outcomes, repeatability, and operator confidence during procedures.

    During this session, attendees will learn how radio frequency microlocation technology can be used as part of these systems. In addition to millimeter-scale precision, microlocation technology offers the added ability to function well in various lighting conditions and functions well with many surgical drapes and other materials found in surgical rooms. With unique object identification, you have the ability to easily track, in real-time, each instrument, robotic assets, surgical table, etc. This millimeter-scale location information is critical for:

    • Real Time Machine Positioning - location of the imaging machine relative to the patient/table throughout the procedure.
    • Surgical Tool Tip Tracking / Navigation - understanding the position of surgical tools relative to the patient and/or a scanned image
    • Surgical Tool Orientation - creating a plane that keeps the orientation of the tool in perfect location
    • Relative Positioning - finding the optimal layout for efficient/ergonomic operations
    • System of Record - Have a system of record of the interaction of all microlocation enabled assets throughout the procedure
    Enabling Technologies Track

  • While ongoing advancements of components for robotics will continue to advance, scaling volumes is highly dependent on an OEM’s ability to be successful in the end user’s environment. An OEM’s ability to understand the value proposition, create a solution along with an integrated user experience, will in large part determine the future of robotic component companies. This session will provide an OEM’s perspective on the mobile robotics opportunity landscape in healthcare and how to approach and gauge the customer’s needs.
    Design & Development Track

  • For robotics companies, it is essential to have a strategic patent portfolio that protects and monetizes company innovations. For early-stage companies, a strong patent portfolio is key to growth and survival and can help secure venture capital (VC) or private equity (PE) funding. For large companies, the patent portfolio protects market share, and can facilitate partnership and cross-licensing opportunities. Before securing a seed, VC, PE investment, or partnership opportunities, due diligence will be required, especially around intellectual property.

    In this session, a panel of leading robotics executives and investors will discuss practical strategies to build a strategic and robust patent portfolio. Panelists will address the following key points:

    • Advantages of a strong patent portfolio, including establishing a competitive advantage in the marketplace, attracting funding, and gaining leverage for collaborations with other companies,
    • Strategies for developing a strategic patent portfolio, including offensive and defensive strategies, taking advantages of USPTO accelerated prosecution programs, and strategies for foreign filing,
    • Knowledge of the patent landscape can help companies focus on product development and patent strategy, and identify potential infringement issues,
    • Best practices to identify and capture innovations, and
    • What to expect during IP due diligence, as an investor, acquirer or target.
    Management & Opportunity Track

  • In this presentation attendees will be provided with an update on recent developments in motion control technologies, applications, and products that are especially important for designers of medical analytical instruments and operating room equipment. The emphasis in this session will be on mobile, robotic, and patient therapy and treatment applications where new motion control solutions are being successfully applied to improve accuracy, enhance efficiency, and speed better outcomes. Prabh Gowrisankaran, VP of Engineering and Strategy at Performance Motion Devices, Inc. (PMD), will share his extensive experience in electronic motion control and will lead this discussion designed to be interesting for both engineers and medical practitioners alike.
    Enabling Technologies Track

  • Successful robotic development projects—those that launch on-time and within budget—is highly dependent on how you prioritize these decisions can ensure that your architectural design efforts will have the most beneficial impact in a timely fashion. Now you are better prepared to address these most common, and critical, architectural decisions.

    Examples include:

    • Buy a manipulator/mobile platform or create a new one?
    • Use a framework like ROS or ROS2, or build your own application-specific software?
    • Use code generation or implement your software in a traditional software like C++ or Python?
    • How do you connect your components - Ethernet, CAN, Ethercat, Serial, USB, etc. ?
    • Software: DDS, GRPC, ZeroMQ
    • Utilize open-source licenses or commercial licenses

    In this presentation, MedAcuity’s Tom Amlicke will discuss the key decisions that development teams must address to create architectures that will ensure a robot will meet requirements, reduce risk, function as intended, and be delivered on time and on budget.
    Design & Development Track

  • Histotechnologists are known for their 9-step, labor intensive and manual biopsy slide prep process. In the face of a national histotechnologist labor shortage, it is time to revolutionize the way pathology laboratories process biopsies. But how? By harnessing advancements in engineering, optics, robotics and AI. In this session Eric Feinstein, CEO of medical robotics company Clarapath, the design and development of SectionStar, the first, fully automated, all-in-one tissue sectioning and transfer system for non-clinical and clinical pathology laboratories that mimics the brain, eyes and hands of a human histotechnician.
    Management & Opportunity Track

  • This session is meant as a practical robotics engineer's guide for integrating force-sensing for haptic force feedback into surgical robots, including general surgical, orthopedic, and catheter robotic systems. Robert Brooks, CEO, ForceN will describe how a robust, high fidelity digital "sense of touch" can be incorporated into haptic controllers, robotic control loops, or machine learning algorithms. He will provide attendees with everything robotics engineers must know to put together a robust, system-level force-sensing design for your surgical robotic system including:

    What forces should you be sensing, how sensitively, and how fast for different instruments and surgical applications;
    • How to avoid common issues including thermal changes (e.g. when instruments enter the body), intraoperative sensor drift, and overload protection;
    • Best practices to design for serializability, disposable/non-disposable components, connectors, cabling, and communication protocols;
    • Robotic setup including trocar remote center of motion, surgeon collaborative control, and sterilizable HMI options; and
    • Some quick examples of recommended sensor arrangements
    Enabling Technologies Track

  • For healthcare robotics and many other types of systems, temperature is one of the many limiting factors in the motor selection process that can be easily overlooked, but detrimental to the anticipated motor performance. For example, if temperature is not accounted for, the actual torque and speed of the selected motor when in the operating environment may be insufficient for the needs of the system. Also, in many healthcare robotic systems, temperature limitations must be implemented for patient and operator safety and therefore must be considered in the motor selection process.

    This talk will highlight the importance of the motor selection process for thermally limited applications. Celera Motion’s Allyson Scott will discuss how motor constant and thermal resistance, parameters specified by motor manufacturers, play a key role in calculating the allow power dissipated in the motor given thermal limitations. Additionally, she walk through a few examples of selecting a motor with and without motor constant consideration, to show how motors can be improperly sized for applications like healthcare robotics where temperature rise is restricted.
    Design & Development Track

  • In this engaging presentation, Paolo Pirjanian, CEO at Embodied, will discuss how the relationship between humans and machines is evolving, including how robots and robotic technology can be applied for social good. Specifically, he will review the development of Moxie, a companion for children designed to help promote social, emotional, and cognitive development through everyday play-based learning and content. He will describe how machine learning was employed to so that Moxie platform could perceive, process and respond to natural conversation, eye contact, and facial expressions, as well as recognize and recall people, places, and things. He will also highlight how this sensory input can be used to help children learn and safely practice essential life skills such as turn taking, eye contact, emotion regulation, relationship management, and problem solving.

  • In October 2021, MassRobotics, FESTO and other key players in the Healthcare Robotics space launched a Startup Catalyst Program to advance healthcare robotics companies around the world by providing the connections, guidance, resources they need to grow and succeed. The aim of the program is to connect healthcare robotics startups with customers, investors, suppliers, marketing and overall support. The program focused on startups in the areas of clinical care, public safety, laboratory and supply chain automation, out-of-hospital care, quality of life, as well as continuity of work and education, healthcare professionals training & support. Four start-up companies, selected from all over the world, participated in the program.

    In this keynote session, senior executives from Festo, MassRobotics and others will describe the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program, and celebrate the milestones achieved by the four companies. The start-ups, in turn, will describe their companies, along with their products and services offerings.

  • Motion control is what makes robotics systems ‘robotic’, and it is advances in motion control technologies that have spurred a great deal of robotics innovation and a dramatic increase in the use of robotics technologies and products around the globe, including for healthcare applications. But compared to industrial and consumer motion control technologies, solutions for healthcare applications typically have different, and often very stringent, functional requirements in areas such as safety, reliability, tolerances, cleanability, sterilization and more. In this panel session, attendees will learn how the latest products and technologies support the development of advanced healthcare robotics systems and allow for new capabilities and new applications.
    Enabling Technologies Track

  • MRI can offer high resolution 3D imaging with high soft tissue contrast, multi-modality imaging for tumor localization, thermal monitoring, and interactively updated speed, making it ideal for monitoring and guiding interventions. Robotics provide a means to leverage the benefits and address the challenges of real-time guidance of interventions using intraoperative MRI. However, challenges with the high magnetic field, time varying magnetic gradient, strong RF signals, and high sensitivity to RF noise make leveraging these capabilities a challenge.

    In this session, Gregory Fischer, Professor and Director of PracticePoint R&D Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will describe a modular approach to MRI-compatible robotics that includes software, control hardware, and mechanical systems, that has been used in the development of robotic systems that can perform image-guided diagnosis and therapy, as well as surgical manipulation under live MR imaging. Results from various clinical trials will be presented, along with an update on ongoing research.
    Design & Development Track

  • In this information session based on a critical case study, Brian Gerkey from Open Robotics will discuss his organization’s work with Singapore’s Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technology (CHART). Underway since 2018, this initiative has led to an open source robot interoperability standard called Open Robotics Middleware Framework (Open-RMF for short) and has been developed to enable communication and coordination from multiple robot vendors at a single location. In this session, attendees will learn:

    The history of Open-RMF
    • Specific challenges to healthcare environments
    • An overview of different interoperability challenges
    Management & Opportunity Track

  • There are ~640 million people worldwide who are concurrently deaf and blind. Without independent communication tools, this historically underserved community is often cut off from the abled world and its resources. Robotics technology can provide disabled populations access to the technology abled individuals take advantage of each day such as communication tools, entertainment mediums, real-time translators and more. In this session, Tatum Robotics founder Samantha Johnson will describe how 3D printing and AI can be utilized to develop robotics solutions for the deafblind community, including an anthropomorphic hand+wrist and two compliant arms as a communication device for tactile sign language—the primary and often only communication method of deafblind people.
    Enabling Technologies Track

  • Surgical robotics systems are providing increased surgical efficiency improved patient outcomes, and lower costs through increasingly smaller incisions, intelligent surgical guidance and visualization, and data analytics. Unfortunately, the healthcare sector is not yet able to fully leverage surgical robotics solutions. The need to satisfy demanding and simultaneous requirements for interoperability, reliability, cybersecurity, safety, and performance is a significant barrier to scalable and efficient development of surgical robotic systems (and intelligent connected medical devices). This can be solved with a modern approach to distributed system architecture that is adaptable to evolving requirements and reusable across programs and product lines. In this talk, Darren Porras will discuss surgical robotics applications and the role of distributed software communication frameworks in addressing the demanding and flexible compute needs of connected medical devices from the edge to the cloud.
    Design & Development Track

  • Cameras, environmental sensors, smart wearables and other technologies can be used to measure human body gestures and decode brain/physiological signals. As such, they can be used by intelligent machines such as robots, telepresence systems and other smart devices to control and react (pro)actively/passively according to human thought, emotions and behaviors without excessive speech or tiring body gestures. Interaction can just happen intuitively and automatically. This next frontier of human / device interaction is especially useful for wellness & productivity applications.
    Design & Development Track

  • In this keynote session, Conor Walsh, the Paul A. Maeder Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, will provide attendees with an overview of the Harvard Biodesign Lab’s efforts to develop and commercialize new disruptive robotic technologies for restoring and augmenting human performance. He will highlight multiple projects that have evolved from concepts to become commercial products. Walsh will also describe how these technologies and systems are utilized for various applications such as restoring the mobility of patients with gait deficits, assisting those with upper extremity impairment to regain function, and preventing injuries of workers performing physically strenuous tasks.