Medical Robotics

Marilena Vendittelli


schedule Monday 15:15-18:00, A7, via Ariosto 25;  students of the Master in Biomedical Engineering (MBIR)
Tuesday 14:00-16:00,  A5, via Ariosto 25;  all students (not mandatory for MBIR students)
Friday 08:00-11:00,  A4, via Ariosto 25; all students

lectures period

Friday, 1st March - Friday, 31st May 2024

course website

e-MR on the Sapienza e-learning platform

instructor e-mail

vendittelli [at] diag [dot] uniroma1 [dot] it


Students of the Master in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Control Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Sapienza UniversitÓ di Roma.


Introduction to the applications of robotic technologies in the medical context, with particular emphasis on surgical robotics.

Expected learning results: knowledge of the main robotic surgical systems and of the challenges and methodologies involved in medical robots design and control.

Expected competence in:


Course contents vary on a yearly basis. The list reported below includes the core topics treated during the course.
Control modalities of medical robots vs their domain of use
Physical interaction control: basic principles and case studies
Shared control and virtual fixtures
Virtual fixtures: examples of application
Constrained manipulation and constrained targeting: task control with Remote Center of Motion (RCM) constraint
Teleoperation 1: general principles
Teleoperation 2: the 4-channel architecture, transparency and stability
Visual servoing: concept and mathematical formulation for monocular cameras
Visual servoing for medical procedures assisted by robots
Principles of medical imaging (ultrasound, TC, MR)
Applications of visual servoing
autonomous retrieval and positioning of surgical tools
3D ultrasound-guided needle steering
Optimization of Ultrasound Image Quality via Visual Servoing
Automatic Tracking of an Organ Section with US
Introduction to haptics
Haptic rendering
Case study:
needle-tissue interaction force identification and haptic rendering in teleoperated needle insertion
Introduction and formulation of the problem
Case study: robot registration in a robot-assisted superficial hyperthermia system
Exoskeletons: introductory concepts and examples
Human gait analysis
Case study:
comparative gait analysis on twins for childrens affected by celebral palsy
the da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK) kinematic simulator
the dVRK dynamic simulator
visuo-haptic interaction with virtual patients
General concepts
Synthetic description of the IEC 80601-2-77 (safety of robotically assisted surgical equipment and systems)

European Regulation on Medical Devices
The AI act and the healthcare technologies
Temperature estimation of internal body targets from superficial measurements
Simulation of deformable structures

For details and material, access the course site in Sapienza e-learning environment.


A general background in robotics (kinematics, dynamics, control), as given in Robotics 1 and  Robotics 2 and is highly recommended.


To obtain 6 credits for Medical Robotics there are two alternative exam modalities:
- usually requiring programming
- work done in groups of 3-4 students
- necessary condition for project assignment:
2 homeworks assigned during the course must be completed with grade at least equal to B
- wheight on the final grade
project: 90%
homeworks: 10%
examples of written exam text are available in e-MR
oral discussion can involve any topic in the program

Master Theses at the Robotics Laboratory

Master Theses on the topics studied in this course can be discussed directly with the instructor.
Questions/comments: vendittelli [at] diag [dot] uniroma1 [dot] it