Surgical robotics has been a major driver of telerobotics since the early days of robotics research. Yet, the level of support for the human operator remains limited. Katharina will expose these limitations during the Eruopean Robotics Workshop on “Telerobotics – where are we and what do we do next?” and highlight ways to increase robotic assistance through shared autonomy using digital twins and semantic state estimation.

In FUTURO, we condisder surgical robotics the perfect match for the space robotics activities within the Young Invesitgator Group, considering that is one of the earliest telerobotics applications. In the future, surgical robotics will become crucial for space robotics itselt, as future manned missions beyond Earth orbit will come with an increased risk for medical incidents. However, up to now we have only started to understand the principals of robotics surgery. That is, there is currently no autonomy involved and the human operator is mostly on his/her own during an operation.

The task of Katharina is to develop generic assistance functions for any type of robotic teleoperation using digital twins and semantic state estimation. She is approaching this problem in a surgeon training scenario, but ultimately we hope to apply the resulting solutions to real-world surgeries. During ERF, Katharina will highlight the challenges ahead and reach out to fellow researchers interested in collaborating on this interesting topic in the future.