Advanced Robotics for Medicine (ARMed) Laboratory

The University of Sheffield


Welcome to the Advanced Robotics for Medicine (ARMed) Lab! 

At the ARMed Lab, we strive to 'arm' clinicians with millimeter-scale flexible medical robots to protect patients through minimally invasive screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers. These robotic tools are thin, flexible, and dexterous so that they can be used by clinicians to access organs deep inside the patient's body and to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in a minimally invasive fashion. We do so by developing novel design, actuation, sensing, modeling, control, and navigation principles that advance both robotics (e.g., continuum robots) and minimally invasive procedures such as gastrointestinal flexible endoscopy, bronchoscopy, and catheterization. We work closely with medical and industrial partners to rigorously develop and test these technologies, in both bench-top tests and in-vivo trials, with the ultimate goal of transforming innovative ideas into practical tools in the hands of clinicians.

Interested in diving into the field of medical robotics and pursuing an academic or industrial career in this field upon graduation? Please drop Dr. Lin Cao ( an email with your CV and a brief cover letter. We are always looking for outstanding and self-motivated students to do PhD, Master, Postdoc, or Final-year research projects. Prospective PhD or Master students could also check this link for scholarship information.

Interested in a meeting or discussion? Please feel free to drop me an email and then a meeting invite in my google calendar.


[30/06/2023] Dr. Cao  was invited to join the editorial board of IEEE RA-L and serve as Associate Editor in the area of Medical Robotics. 

[20/06/2023] Congratulations to Xinyi and Bella whose paper was accepted to IROS 2023! This paper is about a retraction method for soft-growing robots. Xinyi and Bella worked on this project as a Master student and a undergraduate student, respectively.  Well done, both!

[02/06/2023] Dr. Cao was at the flagship conference of IEEE on robotics, ICRA 2023, and hosted a workshop entitled"Force and Shape Perception for Surgical Instruments and Robots", with 12 invited talks from world-leading experts and 10 posters. Find more details here.

[05/02/2023] A Knowledge Exchange Grant is awarded by the the Faculty of Engineering to support our project on the magnetic sesning in medical applications (collabration with Sheffield Children's Hospital).

[13/10/2022] A Research Grant is awarded by the Royal Society to support Dr. Lin's project on a robotic sleeve for endoscopic surgery.

[19/07/2022] You are welcome to check out the Special Issue of the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI recently edited by Dr. Cao and other colleagues.  This topic is on force and shape sensing of surgical instruments/robots.

[29/06/2022] Dr. Cao was at Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics at Imperial College London and gave an invited talk on "Haptic Force Perception for Flexible Endoscopic Surgical Robots".

[18/06/2022] Dr. Cao was at the European Endoscopy Summer School and gave an invited talk on "Endo-robotics and the Future".

[10/06/2022] Welcome new Master students to work in ARMed Lab!

[05/05/2022] New UoS-ACSE Sandpit Internal Funding award!

[02/11/2021] Our paper entitled "Can the Shape of a Planar Pathway Be Estimated Using Proximal Forces of Inserting a Flexible Shaft?" is accepted for publication on the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

[26/10/2021] Our paper entitled "A Frictional Contact-Pattern-Based Model for Inserting a Flexible Shaft Into Curved Channels" is accepted for publication on IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics.

[20/10/2021] Weclome to Bella, Tianchen, and Raffaello who joined ARMed Lab for their final-year research projects. Hope they will have a good initial "taste" of research at the ARMed Lab! 

[21/06/2021] Dr. Cao joined the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, the University of Sheffield, UK. Dr. Cao will lead the ARMed Lab for research on medical robotics.

© 2021 by LIN CAO