Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

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  • UPDATED First lecture is posponed to October 24th

Introduction to Surgical Robotics

Winter term 2019/2020

After attending this lecture, you'll know about:

  • Analyzing the pros and cons of the use of robots in existing surgical workflows
  • Fundamentals of modes of operation, compiling requirements, specifying components and integration aspects of systems
  • Conception and modeling of solutions for problems based on technical and algorithmic approaches
  • Definition of a clinical project for enhancing surgical applications by the use of robotics

The lecture is structured into three areas:

  • State of the Art and Environment
  • Robotics Basics
  • Basics for Designing a Surgical Robotics Application

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the cutting edge research in surgical robotics
  • Talk to specialists from technology development
  • Develop and present your own approach of robotics assistance in the operating room
  • Do practical work and pass a final test
The application-oriented course begins with a presentation of current surgical interventions with robotics assistance and correspondent research projects, analysing benefits and drawbacks. Then, basic knowledge about surgical techniques is presented. Several lectures put the focus on background knowledge that is required for computer scientists to include robotics in their research projects. The acquired knowledge is applied by the students to develop a solution to an existing clinical problem using robotics assistance.

Administrative Info

Lecture: Julian Klodmann and Dr. Ulrich Eck
Tutor: TBD

Type: Lecture + Lab Courses TUMonline
Programs: Robotics, Cognition, Intelligence (Master)
Biomedical Computing (Master)
SWS: 2+2
ECTS: 6 Credits
Course Language: English


  • The classes and assignments are in English
  • Assignments are to be composed in English only


  • Self-organized familiarization with MATLAB/Simulink
  • Accompanying research in groups of 4-5 students, to develop a conceptual solution to an existing clinical problem using robotics assistance
    • Midterm presentation (Powerpoint or equivalent) of 15 minutes/per team including the medical basics of a procedure, equipment used, evaluation of procedure (logistics, use of equipment, timing, who is involved and individual roles, other relevant information, starting points for improvements, and next steps ...)
    • Final presentation (Powerpoint or equivalent) of 15 minutes/per team of defined process, engineering and computer science relevant evaluation, identification of potential process improvements, actual process improvement (pick one topic) with robotics assistance (improve quality and surgical accuracy? improve timing of procedure? cost improvement? ...)



  • Registration will be possible between the September 16th 8am and October 04th 11:59 pm via TUMonline. There will be a limit of 20 participants, priority is given by time of registration. The registered students will receive an email on October 7th to confirm their attendance until October 10th. In case no confirmation is received by then, you are automatically deregistered and students from the waiting list will be contacted.
  • Grading will be based on attendance, the midterm presentation, the final group presentation, and a test on the technology basics. All four grading parts need to be passed to successfully attend the course.
  • ALERT!One excused (E-Mail at least two days prior to lecture with reason) absence will be accepted, two excused absences will cause a "4" in attendance, a non-excused absence equals failure of the course. The first block is mandatory!


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The contents of the blocks of the lecture will be updated within the next weeks. For more Information on the Contents, please visit the Website of last Winter 2018/2019:

  • Block 1 - State of the Art and Environment I
    • Part 1 - Organizational Matter (Julian Klodmann) - 40 min: You will get a short preview of the lecture. We will form groups of 3-4 students for the accompanying research. The assignments will be presented, and the first assignment (work with MATLAB/Simulink) is delegated to you.
    • Part 2 - Products and Research (Julian Klodmann) - 110 min: This lecture will, based on the current state of the art surgical robotics, identify and classify various potentials of robotics in the OR. After this lecture, you will have an idea of the opportunities and challenges in surgical robotics and get a starting point for your contribution in this field.
    • Part 3 - User interface, usability, evaluation, user-centric design (Bernhard Weber) - 60 min: A general introduction to human factors methods is given. Methods for developing, improving and evaluating novel concepts of human-machine interfaces will be reviewed. It will be described how to involve end users in each stage of the product cycle, to determine user requirements as well as limitations and to evaluate concepts or systems accordingly. Besides qualitative methods like systematic field observations, semi-structured interviews, hierarchical task analyses and prototype testing, quantitative experimental methods like part-task or full scale simulations will be presented.

  • Block 2 (schedule Block 4) - State of the Art and Environment II
    • Part 1 - Surgical Techniques (Daniel Ostler, Dirk Wilhelm) - 210 min: You will learn about the general course of action and processes in ORs, technical basics of endoscopes (flexible endoscopes as well as minimally invasive surgery), and examples of application. Furthermore, notes on design of MIS instruments as well as current trends in surgery (single port surgery, NOTES etc.) will be presented.

  • Block 3 (schedule Block 2) - Robotics Basics I
    • Part 1 - Kinematics (Christopher Schlenk) - 90 min: After a short repetition of rigid body transformation matrices, alternative ways to represent rotations such as Euler- and Kardan-angles, “angle and axis” representation, and unit quaternions will be introduced. Subsequently, the Denavit-Hartenberg convention to describe robot kinematics will be explained. Then, the calculation of the direct and inverse kinematics and of the Jacobi matrix of a robot is derived. Finally, you will learn how to calibrate a tool to the robot coordinate system.
    • Part 2 - Kinematics exercises (Christopher Schlenk, Julian Klodmann) - 90 min: At the beginning of this exercise, you will identify the Denavit-Hartenberg parameters of a robotic arm. Using these information, you will investigate the direct and inverse kinematics of this robot in MATLAB/Simulink and plot its workspace.

  • Block 4 (schedule Block 3) - Robotics Basics II
    • Part 1 – Sensors (Florian Steidle) - 45 min: We give an overview about possible sensor types used in robotics as well as fundamentals about physical measurement technologies.
    • Part 2 – Actuators (Christopher Schlenk) - 45 min: Introduction to actuators, with focus on electromechanical actuators which are most relevant for surgical robotics.
    • Part 3 - Calibration/Registration in time and space and Tracking (Florian Steidle) - 75 min: Any surgical procedure performed is planned thoroughly before the intervention. This lecture covers, how to transfer the pre-operative plan into the actual procedure. Herein the major focus is placed on the robot as an assisting tool and most relevant methods for calibration and registration are presented. Also first basics regarding tracking are introduced.

  • Block 5 - Robotics Basics III
    • Part 1 - Midterm presentations (Groups A, B, C) - 60 min
    • Part 2 - Dynamics (Julian Klodmann) - 90 min: The dynamics modeling of robot manipulators is essential for mechanical design, control and simulation of robotic systems. Understanding the dynamics of a robotic system enables to evaluate its capabilities and limitations to perform a certain task. Beginning with the dynamics of a first order mass-spring-damper system, you will form the dynamic equations of motion of robot manipulators. Different algorithms to derive the robot dynamics are summarized.

  • Block 6 - Robotics Basics IV & Basics for Designing a Surgical Robotics Application I
    • Part 1 - Midterm presentations (Groups D, E) - 60 min
    • Part 1 - Control I (Andreas Tobergte) 90 min: You will learn about basic concepts in control like linear control, laplace transformation, transfer functions, state space formulation, pid controller, state control.
    • Part 2 - Exercises (Andreas Tobergte, Julian Klodmann) 30 min: You will do some exercises using MATLAB/Simulink.
    • Part 3 - Control II (Andreas Tobergte) 30 min: In this lecture you will get an introduction to passivity-based robot control.

  • Block 7 - Basics for Designing a Surgical Robotics Application II (CAMPAR/IFL Visit)
    • Part 1 - Introduction to the research conducted by CAMPAR in the field of Surgical Robotics Applications (Thomas Wendler, Javier Esteban) – 60 min. "LabTour" through the IFL (Interdisziplinäres Forschungs Labor).
    • Part 2 - Communication Infrastructure & Operating System (Thomas Bahls, Robert Burger) 60 min: You will learn about the fundamentals of hardware and software communication infrastructure for robotic systems, exemplified on the current implementation used for the "MiroSurge" system. Those requirements are used to derive the basics for robobt operating software to enable the quasi continous control of a robotic systems on a mid and high abstraction level with easy accessable interfaces.

  • Block 8 - Basics for Designing a Surgical Robotics Application III (DLR Visit)
    • Part 1 - Systems Engineering and Medical Product Development (Rainer Konietschke) – 75 min. In this block, you will get some ideas about the path towards turning your medical robot into a product. You will get an introduction into systems engineering and risk management. Peculiarities of certification in different countries (TÜV for Europe, FDA for US) are discussed. Standards for surgical robots such as 60601, 62304, 14971 are presented. In an exercise, you will perform elements of the risk management process such as fault tree analysis, hazards analysis, and DFMEA.
    • Part 2 - Examples of Surgical Robotics Applications at DLR & related (Julian Klodmann) – 135 min. "LabTour" through the Robotics and Mechtronics Center with major focus on the surgical robotics lab and related.

  • Block 9 - Basics for Designing a Surgical Robotics Application IV
    • Part 1 - Final presentations (You - all groups) - 150 min
    • Part 2 - Surgical end effectors for Robots (Andrea Schwier) - 60 min: Considering the robot itself, as an sofisticated positioning device or rather the human arm of the surgeon, the robotic endeffector is the tool, which directly interacts with the patient. Therefore many fundamental requirements are imposed on its design. One is to transform the dexterity of the surgeons’ hands into the patient, maybe even enhance it and integrate additional functionality, e.g. sensors or cutting capabilites. This lecture will give you an overview of the challenges arise during design of endeffectors for surgical robots mainly from the mechanical and systems engineering point of view.
    • Part 3 - Lecture summary and exam preparation (Julian Klodmann) - 60 min

  • Block 10 - Basics for Designing a Surgical Robotics Application IV
    • Part 1 - Final exam (You)
    • Part 2 -Future Trends in Surgical Robotics (Julian Klodmann)
    • Part 3 - Wrap-up (All) - 15 min

We will have about 30 min of breaks in each block, arranged by the lecturers.

Lecture Schedule


  • Jacob Rosen; Blake Hannaford; Richard M. Satava (Eds.) (2011) Surgical Robotics – Systems Applications and Visions, Springer, ISBN 978-1-4419-1125-4
  • John J. Craig. 1989. Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (2nd ed.). Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing Co., Inc., Boston, MA, USA.
  • Hagn, U., Nickl, M., Jörg, S., Tobergte, A., Kübler, B., Passig, G., Gröger, M., Fröhlich, F., Seibold, U., Konietschke, R., Le-Tien, L., Albu-Schäffer, A., Grebenstein, M., Ortmaier, T. & Hirzinger, G. (2008) DLR MiroSurge – towards versatility in surgical robotics. 7. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Computer- und Roboterassistierte Chirurgie e.V. Proceedings of CURAC, 2008, pp. 143 – 146.
  • Selected Workshop and Proceedings of the following congresses: ICRA, IROS, CARS, Curac

Title: Introduction to Surgical Robotics
Professor: Julian Klodmann and Dr. Ulrich Eck
Type: Lecture
Information: 2 + 2 SWS, 6 ECTS Credits
Term: 2019WiSe
Abstract: The application-oriented course begins with a presentation of surgical interventions in cooperation with surgeons. State-of-the-art methods and methods with robotic assistance will be presented and compared. Then, background knowledge for surgical robotics is presented. Eventually, the acquired knowledge is applied to develop a solution to an existing clinical problem using robotics assistance.

Edit | Attach | Refresh | Diffs | More | Revision r1.16 - 13 Oct 2020 - 06:41 - JulianKlodmann

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