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Date/location: 28-30 June 2022, Bristol, UK


We are very pleased to announce the Perspectives in Hybrid Autonomous Systems Engineering (PHASE 2022) in-person symposium, which will bring together experts from academia and industry to discuss and debate what the next generations of autonomous systems will look like - systems that must be designed to have the human in or on the loop. Themes will range across human factors, systems, architecture, ethics, trust, robotics and autonomy. The 3-day programme will include a variety of keynote and contributing speakers, poster sessions, a conference banquet and drinks reception, all hosted in Bristol between 28-30 June 2022.


Missy Cummings (Duke University) Human-Computer Role Allocation in Safety Critical Systems with Embedded AI Verena Hafner (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) Prerequisites for an Artificial Self Simon Powers (Edinburgh Napier University) Working together and valuing each other – building deeply cooperative socio-technical systems Amanda Prorok (University of Cambridge) Deconfliction in Multi-Unit Systems: Communication, Explanation, and Fairness Sarvapali Ramchurn, (University of Southampton) Trustworthy Human-Machine Teaming Sarah Sharples (UK Department for Transport) Hybrid Autonomous Systems Engineering for Transport Anna Trujillo (NASA Langley Research Center) True Partnership: An Actual Human Machine Team Alan Winfield (UWE Bristol) The birth of a new standard: IEEE 7001-2021 on Transparency of Autonomous Systems Dandan Zhang (University of Bristol) Human-Robot Shared Control for Robotic Surgery Across Scales

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

We organized a workshop for 2022 Hamlyn Symposium.

The medical robotics field is making a solid road towards its quest of non-invasive and non-disruptive surgical technologies to provide safe, effective and seamless therapies. The surgical technology has advanced various methodologies to transfer and enhance the surgeon’s dexterity to the surgical site while reducing soft tissue trauma. This has been achieved by breaking down and transforming the complex surgeon-robot-tissue interaction. The emergence of soft and hybrid robotic tools and robots in recent years is promising to provide hyper redundancy and dexterity while reducing soft tissue trauma. Sensing and modeling techniques of the surgeon-robot interaction are enhanced by haptic technologies to enhance surgical robot control.

Higher robot dexterity and redundancy raise stakes for intuitive control and autonomy, while models of surgeon-robot interaction assume a through-body physical coupling highly dependent on tissue site sensing. In recent years, cooperative control has been shown to further enhance the intervention outcomes by sophisticated coupling between the robot and surgeon, with benefits to the ergonomy of the surgical procedure and robot precision. Machine learning algorithms have been incorporatedinto such robotic platforms, yet challenges still exist around context awareness, computational requirements. Questions still remain about what is the balance between the levels of autonomy in order to maintain safety and efficacy. What is the guidance according to which we adjust the levels of autonomy of the intervention or therapy?

The workshop aims to raise discussions around this question, rooted in state of art research and clinical experience, seeking guidance on the development of hybrid instruments following participatory design with surgeons and related medical experts.

The workshop will consist of plenary talks by established and leading robotics and clinical experts in the field followed by short talks by experts and rising leaders in the field. The presenters’ gender balance will be maintained at all levels of seniority. The workshop will close with a forum discussion during which we inquire and formulate principles of versatile and seamless technologies which emerge during this workshop. We will invite poster submissions on workshop related topics and encourage PhD and early career researchers as well as junior doctors to participate.

Date: Wednesday 29th June 2022

Time: 09:00-17:00


Coming soon.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the main current and future challenges to versatile and seamless surgical technologies;

  • Identifying the main principles and methodologies for versatile and seamless surgical technologies;

  • Identifying the future of instrument design for optimal access and reduced tissue trauma;

  • Understanding surgeon’s perspective in co-design process for fast clinical innovation adoption;

  • Understanding how cooperative control can help surgeons conduct complex surgical procedures;

  • Understanding how cooperative control can increase efficiency and precision in surgical procedures.;

  • Understanding how machine learning algorithms can support decision-making and automation for surgical operation.;

  • Understanding the latest developments and specific use cases of cooperative control, semi-autonomous or autonomous surgical robotic platforms for different types of surgery;

  • Understanding the challenges and future directions of cooperative control and autonomous robotic system for surgery;

  • Focus article on this topic which will be shared with the wider public.

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Title: Human-Robot Interaction in Unstructured and Dynamic Environments

Organizers: Dr. Dandan Zhang et al

Time: 12:30pm – 3:00pm, 25th March

Invited Participants:

Tactile Robotics Group at UoB (PIs, Postdoc Researchers, PhDs, MScs, Interns)

Teleoperation Group at UWE (PIs, Postdoc Researchers, PhDs, MScs, Interns)

Data Science Group/AI Group/VI Group at UoB (PIs, PhDs, Interns)

Main Objective:

This workshop aims to put the ‘Human-Robot Interaction in Unstructured and Dynamic Environment’ under the spotlight by investigating the current trends and providing guidance towards possible future directions in the field. This event will also provide opportunities for PhD students, early-career researchers to practice their presentation and communication skills, which may benefit their social networking. Moreover, it would be great for PIs who are interested in this research topic to discuss potential collaborations, joint-grant proposals.


In recent decades, there has been much advancement in the development of human-robot interaction (HRI) techniques for various applications. A large body of work in the field of HRI look at how humans and robots may better collaborate which span a wide range of research areas, including industrial robots, surgical robots, assistive robots etc.

We are looking forward to discussing the current and future research direction of human-robot interaction and addressing the challenges with i) uncertainties that alter the environment or ii) dynamic events that influence the robotic perception of the environment.


12:30pm-12:45pm Welcome Talk (Dandan)

12:45pm-1:15pm Group Leader Talks (Nathan, Ning, Chenguang, Ben, Efi, Weiru)

4-6min introduction for each PI

1:15pm-1:45pm Lunch (free food will be provided)

1:45pm-2:15pm Student projects presentation

1-3 min teaser presentation for PhDs, MScs, Interns

2:15pm-2:30pm Brainstorm for research ideas (all)

2:30pm-3:00pm Discuss potential collaboration (PIs, postdocs)


I may record my talk and take some photos of the event.

I will gain your permission before making the photos public available on my website or UoB website (potential).

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