During my year in industry with Smallfry was fortunate enough to help in a small part with the concept development and industrial design of surgical robotics for the center of robotics at University College London.
*Disclaimer, I was working on this 6-year project for 1-year with Smallfry, all credit goes to the project team for the incredible success of the project. 
The Problem 
Robotics give surgeons a much greater degree of precision and freedom, but fatigue, poor posture and tiredness are inevitable parts of any surgeon’s life. One of the tasks was to see how we could intuitively translate the skills and techniques of experienced surgeons into the user interface of ICL’s robot.
Smallfry designers spent hours observing surgeons in the operating theatre. It became clear that a small annoyance during an 8hr operation could build up to become substantial pain for the surgeon. Testing prototypes was essential for creating an interface that avoided these annoyances and creating a system that surgeons could instinctively utilize.
User Centered Approach
Smallfry’s user centered approach to robotics and surgical device design made the transformation from ‘hands-on’ expert interventions to robot assisted surgery an intuitive one for surgeons. Smallfry’s engineering team then defined and sourced all the necessary mechanical components, working alongside ICL robotic expertise to build the first production batch. Having been CE marked the product went on to perform very well in clinical trials. It now serves as a successful example of how University IP can translate into an effective ‘Spin Out’ opportunity.