Array of robots augmenting the kinematics of endoluminal surgery

BioRobotics Institute Role: 

Project Lifetime
May 2008 to Oct 2012

Funding Institutions: 

European Community's Seventh Framework Programme

Research Program: 
ICT-2007.3.6 - Micro/nanosystem
Grant no.: 
SSSA Total Cost: 
Contribution to SSSA: 
Dedicated website: 

ARAKNES is focused on developing innovative robotic systems for endoluminal surgery This project stems from the innovative idea to transfer the technologies of bi-manual laparoscopic surgery to the endoluminal surgical approach, thus further reducing the operative trauma and enhancing the therapeutic outcome of minimally invasive surgical procedures. This transfer of technologies is enabled by the incorporation of mature and advanced micro-nano-bio technologies and ICT.

Thanks to the recent technological advancements, traditional laparoscopic procedures are nowadays accompanied by Single-Port Laparoscopy (SPL) and Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) approaches.

What we do: 

In this framework, two different robotic platforms have been developed by Surgical Robotics group to address and overcome the current limitations of SPL and NOTES. The SPRINT (Single Port LapaRoscopy bImaNual roboT) is a novel teleoperated bimanual robot specifically designed for single access interventions. It consists of a 30 mm diameter cylindrical introducer through which two 6 Degrees of Freedom robotic arms and a stereoscopic camera can be inserted into the abdomen of the patient. The surgeon controls the position and orientation of the two arms by means of two haptic interfaces, a foot-switch and a 3D monitor that projects the video stream from the stereoscopic camera. The employment of a set of robotic units to be completely inserted into the abdominal cavity is supposed to overcome present drawbacks of NOTES procedures in terms of dexterity, number of DoFs and triangulation. The ARAKNES endoluminal platform is composed of an SMA actuated triangular-shaped magnetic frame and of a set of robotic units capable of dedicated tasks (such as imaging, retraction and manipulation). Each component is inserted separately through the mouth, esophagus and stomach to reach the abdomen, where up to 3 robotic units are anchored  to the magnetic frame.


Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (coordinator), Imperial College London, Università di Pisa, Ecole Polytechnique federale de Lausanne, Microtech s.r.l, Karl Storz GmbH & Co., ST Microelectronics, The University Court of the University of St.Andrews, University of Barcelona , Laboratory of computer Sciences, Robotics and Microelectronics, Novineon Healthcare Technology Partners GmbH

Media - pictures: 



M. Piccigallo, U. Scarfogliero, C. Quaglia, G. Petroni, P. Valdastri, A. Menciassi, P. Dario, “Design of a novel bimanual robotic system for single port laparoscopy”, IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics, December 13, 2010.

M. Carbone, G. Turini, G. Petroni, M. Niccolini, A. Menciassi, M. Ferrari, F. Mosca, V. Ferrari, “Computer Guidance System for Single Incision Bimanual Robotic Surgery”, Computer Aided Surgery, 2012

M. Niccolini, G. Petroni, A. Menciassi, P. Dario, “Real-Time Control Architecture of a Novel  Single-Port lapaRoscopy bImaNual roboT (SPRINT)”, in Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference of Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May, 2012.

G. Petroni, M. Niccolini, A. Menciassi, P. Dario, A. Cuschieri, “A novel intracorporeal assembling robotic system for single-port laparoscopic surgery”, Surgical Endoscopy, 2012.

G. Petroni, M. Niccolini, S. Caccavaro, C. Quaglia, A. Menciassi, S. Schostek, G. Basili, O. Goletti, M. O. Schurr, P. Dario, A novel robotic system for single-port laparoscopic surgery: preliminary experience, Surgical Endoscopy 2013

M. Salerno, S. Tognarelli, C. Quaglia, P. Dario and A. Menciassi, Anchoring frame for intra-abdominal surgery, The International Journal of Robotics Research 2013, 32(3) 360–370

Meet the team