Embracing Industrial 4.0 – The Role of Robotics and AI

Guang-Zhong Yang
Guang-Zhong Yang
Imperial College London
Nov. 30 11:00~12:00


Industry 4.0 is transforming the future of industry and manufacturing towards smart factories with increased digitisation, automation and integrated control systems. The development of robotics, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) has played an important role in supporting this major development. This talk will highlight the technical advances that underpin Industry 4.0 and use the medtech sector as the exemplar for outlining the opportunities as well as the challenges faced by academia and commercial sectors. The talk will also cover the successes, challenges, and the road ahead for medical robotics in spearheading evolution in precision medicine and personalized healthcare. We will look back through the last 25 years at how surgical robotics has evolved to a major area of innovation and development. With improved safety, efficacy and reduced costs, robotic platforms will soon approach a tipping point, moving beyond early adopters to become part of the mainstream surgical practice. These platforms will also drive the future of precision surgery, with a greater focus on early intervention and quality of life after treatment. We also project forward, on how this relatively young yet rapidly expanding field may reshape the future of medicine, as well as the associated technical, commercial, regulatory, and economic challenges that need to be overcome. The talk will conclude with the vision for creating the future medtec eco-system by leveraging the increasing adoption of Industry 4.0 for the development of safe, effective, and accessible medical device platforms that will benefit the population at large.



  • 1988–1991, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, PhD, Computer Science
  • 1982–1986, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, BSc, Electrical and Electronic Engineering



  • 2008–Present, Director, Co-Founder, Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London, UK
  • 2001.09–Present (full professor), Chair in Medical Image Computing, Department of Computing, Imperial College London, UK
  • 2000.10–2001.08 (Reader), Department of Computing, Imperial College London, UK
  • 1999.04-2000.09 (Lecturer), Department of Computing, Imperial College London, UK
  • 1991.10–1999.04 (Principal Scientist), Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital London, UK


Membership of Professional Bodies

  • 2013, Fellow, IAMBE (International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering)
  • 2013, Fellow, MICCAI Society
  • 2013, Fellow, City and Guilds
  • 2010, Fellow, Royal Academy of Engineering
  • 2010, Fellow, IEEE
  • 2010, Fellow, AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering)
  • 2004, Fellow, IET (The Institute of Engineering and Technology, formerly the IEE)