Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Robotic Surgery Related Abstracts

2 Force Sensor for Robotic Graspers in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Authors: Naghmeh M. Bandari, Javad Dargahi, Muthukumaran Packirisamy

Abstract:

Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RMIS) has been widely performed around the world during the last two decades. RMIS demonstrates significant advantages over conventional surgery, e.g., improving the accuracy and dexterity of a surgeon, providing 3D vision, motion scaling, hand-eye coordination, decreasing tremor, and reducing x-ray exposure for surgeons. Despite benefits, surgeons cannot touch the surgical site and perceive tactile information. This happens due to the remote control of robots. The literature survey identified the lack of force feedback as the riskiest limitation in the existing technology. Without the perception of tool-tissue contact force, the surgeon might apply an excessive force causing tissue laceration or insufficient force causing tissue slippage. The primary use of force sensors has been to measure the tool-tissue interaction force in real-time in-situ. Design of a tactile sensor is subjected to a set of design requirements, e.g., biocompatibility, electrical-passivity, MRI-compatibility, miniaturization, ability to measure static and dynamic force. In this study, a planar optical fiber-based sensor was proposed to mount at the surgical grasper. It was developed based on the light intensity modulation principle. The deflectable part of the sensor was a beam modeled as a cantilever Euler-Bernoulli beam on rigid substrates. A semi-cylindrical indenter was attached to the bottom surface the beam at the mid-span. An optical fiber was secured at both ends on the same rigid substrates. The indenter was in contact with the fiber. External force on the sensor caused deflection in the beam and optical fiber simultaneously. The micro-bending of the optical fiber would consequently result in light power loss. The sensor was simulated and studied using finite element methods. A laser light beam with 800nm wavelength and 5mW power was used as the input to the optical fiber. The output power was measured using a photodetector. The voltage from photodetector was calibrated to the external force for a chirp input (0.1-5Hz). The range, resolution, and hysteresis of the sensor were studied under monotonic and harmonic external forces of 0-2.0N with 0 and 5Hz, respectively. The results confirmed the validity of proposed sensing principle. Also, the sensor demonstrated an acceptable linearity (R2 > 0.9). A minimum external force was observed below which no power loss was detectable. It is postulated that this phenomenon is attributed to the critical angle of the optical fiber to observe total internal reflection. The experimental results were of negligible hysteresis (R2 > 0.9) and in fair agreement with the simulations. In conclusion, the suggested planar sensor is assessed to be a cost-effective solution, feasible, and easy to use the sensor for being miniaturized and integrated at the tip of robotic graspers. Geometrical and optical factors affecting the minimum sensible force and the working range of the sensor should be studied and optimized. This design is intrinsically scalable and meets all the design requirements. Therefore, it has a significant potential of industrialization and mass production.

Keywords: Optical Sensor, Robotic Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, force sensor, tactile sensor

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1 A Microsurgery-Specific End-Effector Equipped with a Bipolar Surgical Tool and Haptic Feedback

Authors: Hamidreza Hoshyarmanesh, Sanju Lama, Garnette R. Sutherland

Abstract:

In tele-operative robotic surgery, an ideal haptic device should be equipped with an intuitive and smooth end-effector to cover the surgeon’s hand/wrist degrees of freedom (DOF) and translate the hand joint motions to the end-effector of the remote manipulator with low effort and high level of comfort. This research introduces the design and development of a microsurgery-specific end-effector, a gimbal mechanism possessing 4 passive and 1 active DOFs, equipped with a bipolar forceps and haptic feedback. The robust gimbal structure is comprised of three light-weight links/joint, pitch, yaw, and roll, each consisting of low-friction support and a 2-channel accurate optical position sensor. The third link, which provides the tool roll, was specifically designed to grip the tool prongs and accommodate a low mass geared actuator together with a miniaturized capstan-rope mechanism. The actuator is able to generate delicate torques, using a threaded cylindrical capstan, to emulate the sense of pinch/coagulation during conventional microsurgery. While the tool left prong is fixed to the rolling link, the right prong bears a miniaturized drum sector with a large diameter to expand the force scale and resolution. The drum transmits the actuator output torque to the right prong and generates haptic force feedback at the tool level. The tool is also equipped with a hall-effect sensor and magnet bar installed vis-à-vis on the inner side of the two prongs to measure the tooltip distance and provide an analogue signal to the control system. We believe that such a haptic end-effector could significantly increase the accuracy of telerobotic surgery and help avoid high forces that are known to cause bleeding/injury.

Keywords: Robotic Surgery, haptic interface, tele-operation, end-effector, force generation, surgical tool

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