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The HeroSurg is the world’s first haptically enabled, minimally invasive robotic surgical system that enables surgeons to retain the sense of touch, while improving their ability to diagnose and treat conditions.

IISRI’s Haptically-Enabled Robotic Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgical System (HeroSurg), was a major breakthrough in technology for laparoscopic, or keyhole micro surgery, when it was first released in 2016. What was missing in older surgical robot technology was the ability to incorporate natural hand-eye co-ordination and dexterity.

IISRI researchers in collaboration with Harvard University, developed the solution. By using multi-point haptic feedback, researchers developed a robotic system that enabled surgeons to retain the sense of touch, and important aspect to diagnose and treat conditions when vision is restricted. Retaining the sense of touch was essential for surgeons to palpate and diagnose soft tissue damage – this haptic feedback set HeroSurg apart from other robotic surgical systems such as the Da Vinci Robot.

In addition to its haptics, other features of HeroSurg include collision avoidance, modularity, high-resolution 3D images and automatic patient/bed adjustment. The additional features helped create a clear ‘surgical scene’ to help surgeons identify the relationship of the instruments and laparoscope in the 3D space. It also provides a more ergonomic workstation console for surgeons.

This world-leading technology was created in the laboratory at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus in Geelong, in collaboration with experts from the University’s School of Medicine.

Together IISRI and the School of Medicine hope to work with hospitals, medical centres and potential manufacturers to bring this technology into the health system.


Haptically-Enabled Robotic Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgical System (HeroSurg) for laparoscopic, or keyhole micro-surgery, incorporates natural hand-eye co-ordination and dexterity to retain the sense of touch during a surgery when vision is restricted.

Impact: HeroSurg hopes to make laparoscopic safer and more accurate than ever before by reducing trauma and lowering risk of blood loss and infection. It also provides a more ergonomic workstation console for surgeons.

Lead researcher: Dr Mohsen Moradi Dalvand

Collaborators: Professor Suren Krishnan, Royal Adelaide Hospital surgeon and Honorary Professor at IISRI, Professor Robert Howe, the Director of the BioRobotics Laboratory, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University.

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