The SARAS objectives can be categorised in two fields, each one articulated in different sub-points:

  1. Technical objective – Develop a cognitive autonomous system for solo surgery
    • Design a perception module, using the pre-operative information about the surgery and the data collected intra-operatively, that will infer the status of the procedure and the actions performed by the surgeon teleoperating the da Vinci robotic arms (SOLO-SURGERY), or using standard laparoscopic tools (LAPARO2.0-SURGERY);
    • Design a cognitive control module which will (1) predict the next steps of the procedure, (2) make decisions about the robot future actions and (3) send high-level commands to the autonomous SARAS arms to cooperate with the surgeon in tasks requiring coordination;
    • Design a low-level multi-robot control architecture in which high-level commands will be mapped into commands for the SARAS assistive robotic arms;
    • Development of the two robotic assistive arms, substituting the assistant surgeon, capable of handling off-the-shelf laparoscopic tools specific to the particular clinical procedure.
  2. Clinical objectives – Perform solo surgery in robotic MIS
    • Translation of medical knowledge into an engineering formalism easy to be interpreted by the autonomous system;
    • Enhancement of the da Vinci console by integrating multi-modal visual feedback to provide the surgeon with a better understanding of the status of the intervention and to add features to interact with the autonomous robot arms in a collaborative and cooperative fashion;
    • Introduction of force/tactile feedback at the master console to provide the surgeon with a rendering of the interaction force between the laparoscopic tools they are teleoperating and the patient;
    • Development of a new generation of disposable synthetic human abdomen and pelvic region models (i.e. phantoms) to validate the SARAS system in more realistic scenarios and to develop curricula for laparoscopic surgery protocols for the training of junior surgeons or for senior surgeons not expert in robotic MIS.