Imperial College
Universal Articulated Dock

Imperial College London

Designed for the User

Establishing the appropriate geometry and degrees of freedom required to make the arm intuitive to use, whilst retaining minimal restriction to the surgeon’s operating envelope, was a key part of the project.

Imperial College product design
Universal articulated dock in testing

Comprehensive Research

Research and analysis was carried out into the surgical techniques to identify common practice and key variables. An in-depth understanding of the task, personnel, equipment and environment helped to define the degrees of freedom and mounting requirements.


The overall look of the arm was developed to uphold the reputation of Imperial College, presenting a minimal, clean and professional appearance that reflects the cutting-edge, high value technology that they are known for developing.

Articulated dock prototype
Components of the universal articulated dock for Imperial College

Built for Industry

Smallfry defined and sourced all of the projects mechanical components, working with ICL to build the first production batch. The dock has also become ICL’s first fully CE marked product.

Testing of the Imperial College dock

Design that Works

Our team developed the dock through a series of prototypes to refine the internal technology, overall geometry and usability. Two production arms have now been built and are undergoing trials.