Are you up for the Robothon, the medical robotics hackathon?

Are you up for the Robothon, the medical robotics hackathon?



  • Clinicians
  • Researchers
  • Engineers
  • Students
  • Anyone who is an innovator, a disruptor, or a visionary


A hackathon-style competition: simply register and you can create the best micro-robotics solution to predefined unmet needs (see list). We will support you with practical tools, professional advice, and mentorship.



Stay tuned for the next X Challenge!
Selected applicants will participate in several half day events during the month of November 2017. The competition will take place during the first week of December 2017.


  • All finalists will benefit from an exclusive mentoring package, which includes top-notch engineering, marketing, regulatory, intellectual property, R&D, public relations, and finance consultation.
  • First prize is a trip to Seattle, Washington, where you will attend an exclusive event of “Intellectual Ventures” and present your project to key stakeholders and investors.


Prevention of occlusion of arteriovenous fistulas and grafts

Arteriovenous (AV) fistulas and grafts are surgically created connections between a native artery and a native vein in the forearm, upper arm or thigh. With an AV fistula, the connection between an artery and a vein is direct, whereas with an AV graft, the connection is made with a looped plastic tube. The access that the AV fistula or graft creates is routinely used for hemodialysis two to five times per week.

Many patients are dependent on hemodialysis and need long-term dialysis access. The preservation of patent, well-functioning dialysis fistulas and grafts is one of the most difficult clinical challenges in the long-term treatment of patients undergoing dialysis. As many as 25% of hospital admissions in the dialysis population are attributed to vascular-access problems, which include fistula malfunction and thrombosis.

The unmet need: develop a device which maintains the AV fistula or graft unobstructed.

Microbiome diagnosis along the gut for better diabetes care

The worldwide prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes continues to rise at an alarming rate. Recently, the potential role of the gut microbiome in those metabolic disorders has been identified. Numerous studies suggest that disruptions in the relative proportions of gut microbial populations may contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance. Yet, the gut microbiome composition is not homogenous. Rather, in the proximal part of the small intestine, where few intestinal bacterial strains reside, important metabolic functions take place, such as uptake of dietary glucose, lipids, and proteins. On the other hand, in the more distal part of the small intestine, water is absorbed from feces and short-chain fatty acids that are produced via fermentation. A diagnosis device that can travel in the gut and collect gut specimens or data on gut microbiomes from different locations is needed in order to provide personalized microbiome-based treatment.

The unmet need: a patient-friendly method of collecting or detecting gut specimens that can map the microbiome profile of the gut and provide personalized treatment for diabetes.

Kidney stone removal

Kidney stones are a common urological disease that can impair health and quality of life. Kidney stones can cause significant morbidity and result in abdominal pain, the second most common presentation to the ER. Kidney stones often get trapped in the ureter (ureteric stones). When that happens, it may be necessary to have a ureteroscopy: passing a long, thin telescope called a ureteroscope through the urethra and into the bladder, and then directly into the ureter.

Kidney stones have a high recurrence rate of up to 50% within the subsequent five to ten years after the first episode. The rate of repeated operative intervention is similarly high, and the burden to the healthcare system is heavy. Existing methods for removing stones are limited. In some, the success rate is low, while in others the risk profile is high. The high recurrence rate begs for a simple solution that does not require a prolonged hospitalization.

The unmet need: a simple, cost-effective device that will be able to travel up and down the urinary tract to crush or collect or remove kidney stones.

IVF - transferring the embryos to their optimal location

During in-vitro fertilization (IVF), the technique used to perform embryo transfer (ET) is considered one of the most relevant factors affecting the final outcome. The site of implantation, the type of catheter, the operator’s skill, the amount of loaded medium, the presence of mucus or blood in or around the catheter, and any difficulty in entering the uterine cavity have all been recognized as variables affecting the IVF success rate.

There are two main techniques for ET: “ultrasound-guided ET” and “blind ET”. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages, and neither addresses all the challenges of achieving optimal implantation. Since ET has not changed significantly in the past 30 years, there is the opportunity to leverage novel technologies and develop a new robotic device to increase the likelihood of successful IVF.

The unmet need: a device which would automatically identify embryo transfer location, navigate to it, and implant embryos.

Bring your own idea

Our body is made up of lumens, or tubular pathways. Be it the GI tract, urinary tract, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system etc. Possible solutions using self-propelling devices are endless.

If you know of an unmet need in which a “traveling” device would be a great solution, or if you are a “solution maker” – join the X Challenge and you will be teamed with professionals like you, to invent a new medical device.



We are still happy to hear from you! If you have any questions or would like to participate in the next X Challenge, simply send your contact info to

In Collaboration With: X Challenge Rules and Regulations