Dr Lin Cao


Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering


Assistant Professor

Dr Lin Cao
Profile picture of Dr Lin Cao
+44 114 222 5552

Full contact details

Dr Lin Cao
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
Amy Johnson Building
Portobello Street
S1 3JD

Dr Lin Cao received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, with research on compliant robotic systems and soft robotics. He was a visiting scholar in the Interactive Mechanisms and Mechatronics lab, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in 2013. In 2016, He joined the medical robotics research group at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, as a Research Fellow and a team leader. In Jan. 2021, He was invited to attend the Global Young Scientists Summit in Singapore. In June 2021, Dr. Cao joined the University of Sheffield as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Medical Robotics.

Dr Cao’s main research interests include flexible endoscopic surgical robots, soft robots, and compliant robotic systems. Collaborating with clinicians and industrial collaborators, he strives to develop flexible/soft robotics technologies that enable medical diagnosis and treatment with minimal invasiveness. These technologies are rigorously developed and tested, in both in-vivo animal trials and human trials, with the ultimate goal of making a real difference for the healthcare of patients.

Dr Cao is interested in both theoretical and applied research, ranging from modelling the friction in medical tools to developing robots that remove cancer tumours or repair perforations in the digestive tract. His theoretical work on the design theory of compliant robotic systems was featured by ASME Journal of Mechanical design; an applied work on the flexible endoscopic robotic suturing system was a finalist of the ‘Surgical Robot Challenge’ at Imperial College London,  and he also won the ‘Best Presentation Award’ on the Congress of European Association for Endoscopic Surgery at the Amazing Technologies session. He also holds a few intellectual properties.

Dr Cao is an Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and an Editorial Member of Drones and Autonomous Vehicles. He also edited a Special Issue for Frontiers in Robotics and AI as a Guest Editor and led a workshop at the IEEE flagship conference, International Conference in Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2023).


Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Research Fellow in medical robotics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Research interests

Medical Robots, Soft Robots, and Compliant Robotic Systems.

Advanced Robotics for Medicine Lab (ARMed Lab): arming doctors with advanced robotic technologies to fight against diseases and to protect patients for health.


Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers


Research Grants

  • Development of a Submillimetre Steerable Robotic Bronchoscope with Cellular-Resolution Microscopy, Royal Society, 03/2024 - 03/2026, £11,300, as co-PI
  • Robotic Exoskeletal Sleeve for Flexible Endoscopic Surgery, Royal Society, 12/2022 - 05/2024, £19,888, as PI
Teaching interests
  • ACS6121 Mobile Robotics and Autonomous Systems