£1 million surgical equipment donated to Leeds robotics team

The Institute of Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Sensing, led by Professor Pietro Valdastri, receives a £1m da Vinci Surgical Robot.

The University of Leeds received the da Vinci Research Kit as a donation from Intuitive Surgical, a worldwide market leader in robotic surgery. The medical robot worth £1 million will enable the Science and Technology of Robotics in Medicine Lab (STORM Lab) at the Faculty of Engineering to advance research in the field of robotic surgery.

The da Vinci System is powered by robotic technology that allows the surgeon’s hand movements to be translated into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. One of the instruments is a 3D laparoscope – a thin tube with optical fibres connected to a stereoscopic camera to provide the surgeon with tridimensional vision. This enables depth perception, augmenting surgeon capabilities during a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon is 100% in control of the da Vinci System at all times.

Another main advantage of the da Vinci robot is the dexterity in controlling minimally invasive instruments, which enables surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few small incisions. Da Vinci is powered by robotic technology that allows the surgeon’s hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of the EndoWrist® instruments working inside the patient’s body. The other key components of the systems include: an ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating, a patient-side cart where the patient is positioned during surgery, interactive robotic arms, and a 3D HD vision system.

da Vinci Surgical Robot, Professor Pietro Valdastri, University of Leeds, STORM Lab

Professor Pietro Valdastri pictured next to the da Vinci Surgical Robot 

The University of Leeds is the only university in the north of England and outside London to have a da Vinci Surgical Robot to be used for technology-oriented research. The extensive research at the University of Leeds and the funding it brings means that we can invest in the best facilities ran by staff engaged in pioneering research. Our original and innovative research leads the way in many fields, including medical and biological engineering. 

Further Information

For further information about surgical and medical robotics at Leeds, read about the Institute of Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Sensing at the University of Leeds.

STORM Lab was founded in August 2011 by Pietro Valdastri as he moved to Vanderbilt University. STORM Lab now operates on both sides of the Atlantic, with STORM Lab USA, directed by Keith Obstein, and STORM Lab UK, directed by Pietro Valdastri.

Professor Pietro Valdastri is collaborating in his research with co-investigators from other schools and faculties, as follows:

For more information about the da Vinci Surgical System, please visit the Intuitive Surgical website.