2nd Scottish Online Seminar on Robots in Healthcare

Date(s) - 27/05/2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

This online seminar series aims at introducing the work of Scottish universities on robots in healthcare. With the current pandemic, a rise in robotic tools for healthcare seems inevitable. So what can we as a community do to support the efforts of healthcare professionals not just during this current crisis but in general?

After the success of the first event in April, in this second Scottish workshop on robots in healthcare, Mary Ellen Foster from the University of Glasgow and Subramanian Ramamoorthy from the University of Edinburgh present their current work on robotic applications in healthcare.

The two presentations will focus on safe AI for surgical assistance a project funded by the Alan Turing Institue and using AI-enhanced social robots to improve children’s healthcare experiences a project funded by UKRI. Short abstracts of the talks can be found below.

This event is aimed at academics and healthcare professionals interested in the topic and serves as a first testbed for Scotland wide online seminars. The presentations will be 20 minutes each, leaving time for discussion of ideas surrounding the topic ranging from what is currently needed to support essential care to general needs of the future.


Safe AI for Surgical Assistance

Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy

Reader in Robotics, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

Turing Fellow, Alan Turing Institute

As AI based decision-making methods make their way from internet applications to more safety-critical physical systems, questions about the robustness of the models and policies become increasingly more important. Grounded in the domain of autonomous systems that could play an assistive role in the surgical theatre, this project explores novel methods for learning specifications from human experts and synthesising policies that are correct by construction.

Using AI-Enhanced Social Robots to Improve Children’s Healthcare Experiences

Dr Mary Ellen Foster

Senior Lecturer in Human-Robot Interaction, University of Glasgow

Children experience pain and distress in clinical settings every day, and the negative consequences of unaddressed pain can be both short-term (e.g. fear, distress, inability to perform procedures) and long-term (e.g. needle phobia, anxiety). In a newly funded, three-year, UK-Canada collaborative project, we aim to develop a clinically relevant and responsive social robot designed to effectively distract children during painful clinical procedures, thereby reducing pain and distress. The behaviour of the robot will be developed in collaboration with stakeholders including children, parents, and healthcare providers, and the final system will be evaluated through a clinical trial in two Canadian paediatric emergency rooms.

You can register for the event here.

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