European Robotics Forum 2016 - 23 March 2016

Session Title: 

Robotic capsule endoscopy: EU innovation initiatives in a rapidly emerging global market

Motivation and Objectives: 

Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE), a revolutionary clinical alternative to traditional flexible scopes, enables inspection of the digestive system (Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy) with minimal discomfort for the patient or the need for sedation, mitigating some of the risks of flexible endoscopy. Although WCE has entered the medical scene as a disruptive technology, it presents a number of limitations, e.g. the impossibility to actively control locomotion and camera orientation, which leads to low diagnostic specificity and false-positive results. Therefore, the natural evolution of clinical WCE consists of integrating mechanisms for closed-loop active locomotion and providing the capsule with sensors and tools for diagnosis and therapy.

The proposed workshop is intended to address state of the art, research and innovation opportunities and the wide range of open challenges of the emerging field of robotic endoscopic capsules. A few invited speakers will present the medical problems to be investigated and the robotic solutions that are being developed by researchers and by industry.

Particular attention will be given to the objectives and expected achievements of the EU EndoVESPA project (ICT-24-2015:Robotics IA – G.A. 688592), started on December 1st, 2015.

As a result for the workshop, an executive summary will be produced, proposing a set of guidelines for innovation and research in the field of robotic capsule endoscopy, highlighting also achievements and industrial and research future perspectives. The produced guidelines will contribute to the Roadmap of European Robotics.


16:15 – 16:20   Opening and introduction to the workshop - Prof. Paolo Dario and Dr. Gastone Ciuti, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy.

16:20 – 17:20 - Robotic endoscopic capsule: presentations by selected invited speakers
16:20 – 16:35: Robotic endoscopic capsule: achievements and challenges - Prof. Paolo Dario, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy.
16:35 – 16:50: Capsules and novel flexible endoscopic devices: clinical needs and medical perspectives - Prof. Alberto Arezzo, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
16:50 – 17:05: Robotic capsule endoscopy: market analysis and commercial perspective - Dr. B. Magnani, Ekymed S.r.l., Pisa, Italy.

17:05 – 17:15: A new approach for active capsule endoscopy: closed-loop robotic magnetic locomotion - Dr. Gastone Ciuti, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy.

17:15 – 17:35: Round table discussion: what are the open challenges and technological needs to be solved in the next 5 years?

17:35 – 17:45: Conclusions for the roadmapping process under SPARC/Horizon 2020


Participants will be asked to identify and present their most relevant (selected) research and/or industrial-oriented developments on robotic capsule endoscopy with a poster, highlighting disruptive achievements and open challenges. The most relevant topics will be considered and discussed in the Round Table session (e.g., as current challenges, how projects should be set up to identify optimum solutions, and how benchmarking should be applied).