MediTel project wins big at Robotics and Automation Awards

01 November 2023

A medical innovation project devised by researchers from the AMRC and University of Sheffield scooped up an award win at the Robotics and Automation Awards 2023. 

The MediTel project, which used game-changing robotics technology to provide remote medical treatment to casualties in high-risk environments, won in the Innovation in Extreme Environments category. The team was also shortlisted in the R&D Innovation award. 

David King, head of design at the AMRC, said he was incredibly proud of the MediTel team winning the award and receiving recognition. 

He added: “This is a shining example of what can be achieved when you bring together a talented team of AMRC research engineers and the University of Sheffield Academics, working together with the industry to deliver game-changing robotics technology. We continue to develop the system with the ambition of realising the potential of MediTel to save lives in the future.”

Sanja Dogramadzi, professor of medical robotics and intelligent health technologies at the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering and director of Sheffield Robotics, said she was absolutely delighted that MediTel got nominated in two categories and got the award for one of them.

She added: “This is a significant recognition for Sheffield Robotics and our collaboration with the AMRC, as well as my personal research. Winning in a category which had big companies like Airbus and Sellafield in, demonstrated our abilities to deliver a unique, novel and working solution to save lives in hazardous environments."

Organised by Robotics and Automation Magazine, the inaugural Robotics and Automation Awards recognised and celebrated a range of outstanding applications of robotics or automated systems throughout the value chain of several prominent industries.

The team fought off tough competition from Airbus, Sellafield, BladeBUG and the University of Southampton to win the accolade. 

Judges ahead of the awards, said that the development of a mobile teleoperation robotics system within hazardous or high-risk environments would ensure medically trained experts are safe and not exposed to the hazard themselves while providing potentially lifesaving care until the casualty can be safely extracted. 

Using medical telexistence technology, the university’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Sheffield Robotics and Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, successfully created a prototype mobile, robotic-controlled uncrewed ground vehicle - all in just nine months.  

It boasts virtual reality capability to enable medics and operators to access critical casualties in hazardous environments, allowing them to perform a remote triage, while also ensuring their safety. 

The team came together to attend the awards ceremony, held at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. 

MediTel has also been shortlisted in the Healthcare and Medical category in the 2023 Collaborate to Innovate Awards, organised by trade publication, The Engineer. The awards ceremony is set to take place in February 2024. 

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