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What is Haptics?
Haptics = Touch = Connection
Haptics (touch feedback), aka Tactile Feedback
is the future of the user experience in digital devices. There are both physiological and emotional reasons for its fast-growing use:
Of the five senses, touch is the most proficient, the only one capable of simultaneous input and output.
Touch is at the core of personal experience.
By involving the sense of touch so familiar in the human experience, haptics gives:
Medical and surgical simulators sharp realism needed for effective training environments
Touchscreens of all types the ability to “touch back” with unmistakable confirmation
Mobile and office phones easier operation for an ever-growing number of features
Automotive controls safer operation with reduced glance time
Gaming systems greater realism, excitement, and enjoyment
Industrial & commercial systems safer, more efficient, and more accurate control in distractive environments
*There are many terms used to describe haptics technology in user interfaces, including “full force feedback,” “rumble feedback,” “tactile feedback,” “touch-enabled,” “vibration,” and “vibrotactile.” Who uses haptics?
The master manipulator of a DaVinci surgical robot. Credit Akiko Nabeshima
Brainy, Yes, but Far From Handy
September 1, 2014
Building a Robot With Human Touch
STANFORD, Calif. — In factories and warehouses, robots routinely outdo humans in strength and precision. Artificial intelligence software can drive cars, beat grandmasters at chess and leave “Jeopardy!” champions in the dust.But machines still lack a critical element that will keep them from eclipsing most human capabilities anytime soon: a well-developed sense of touch.
Consider Dr. Nikolas Blevins, a head and neck surgeon at Stanford Health Care who routinely performs ear operations requiring that he shave away bone deftly enough to leave an inner surface as thin as the membrane in an eggshell.
Dr. Blevins is collaborating with the roboticists J. Kenneth Salisbury and Sonny Chan on designing software that will make it possible to rehearse these operations before performing them. The program blends X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging data to create a vivid three-dimensional model of the inner ear, allowing the surgeon to practice drilling away bone, to take a visual tour of the patient’s skull and to virtually “feel” subtle differences in cartilage, bone and soft tissue. Yet no matter how thorough or refined, the software provides only the roughest approximation of Dr. Blevins’s sensitive touch.........
Much research is focusing on vision and its role in touch. The newest da Vinci Xi, a surgery system developed by Intuitive Surgical Inc., uses high-resolution 3-D cameras to enable doctors to perform delicate operations remotely, manipulating tiny surgical instruments. The company focused on giving surgeons better vision, because the necessary touch for operating on soft tissue like organs is still beyond the capability of haptics technology.
Curt Salisbury, a principal research engineer at SRI International, a nonprofit research institute, said that while surgeons could rely on visual cues provided by soft tissues to understand the forces exerted by their tools, there were times when vision alone would not suffice.
“Haptic feedback is critical when you don’t have good visual access,” he said........continue reading
Telelap ALF-X Endoscopic Robotic Surgical System
March 21, 2014
Intuitive Surgical is the dominant player in robotic surgery, having developed the now famous da Vinci System that turned traditional endoscopy into a futuristic endeavor. Now we learn of a system being developed by SOFAR, an Italian pharmaceutical firm, that looks set to compete with the da Vinci.
The Telelap ALF-X features haptic feedback, allowing the surgeon to indirectly “feel” the tissues that are being manipulated. This can lead to improved safety and allow certain maneuvers to be performed with greater confidence. The system also tracks the surgeon’s eye movements, positioning the camera so the field of view is centered where the eyes are looking. The system is highly adjustable for an optimal ergonomic experience. Click Here to view video previews of the system in action
Tactile Capsule Restores Surgeons Sense of Touch During Laparoscopy
October 18, 2013
A team of engineers from Science and Technology of Robotics in Medicine (STORM) Lab at Vanderbilt University have developed a small, wireless capsule which aims to restore tactile feedback to the physician during laparoscopic surgery.
The prototype capsule is equipped with a pressure sensor, wireless transmitter, accelerometer, magnetometer and battery, all housed within a 0.6 inch x 2.4 inch cylindrical plastic capsule.The capsule can be inserted through an existing laparoscopic access port and easily manipulated with a gripper or endoscope to allow the surgeon to planepalpate the target tissue.
As the surgeon moves the capsule, the pressure of the tissue is measured using the head of the capsule. Simultaneously, the accelerometer and magnetometer provide corresponding localization data in a 3D co-ordinate plane. All of this data is collected at a sampling frequency of 200Hz and transmitted wirelessly to a PC which builds a visual 3D pressure map of the target tissue......read more
Click on image to view video
Click on image to check out this sneak peak of the IBIS robot in action
IBIS Haptic Surgical Robot Aims Its Grips at da Vinci
July 24, 2013
Surgical robots have now been around for years inside high tech hospitals, most famously the da Vinci system from Intuitive Surgical. Though in the news lately over FDA concerns and sales forecasts, the company offers technology otherwise not available from anyone else.
But, because the underlying technology inside the da Vinci is coming down in price, competition will surely increase. Case in point is the IBIS system developed at the Tokyo Institute of Technology........read more
First-Ever 'Blindfolded' Simulated Procedure Performed by Boston Children's Hospital Surgeons Using Only Robotics and Their Sense of Touch
Despite all of the advances in robotics, the ability to provide the operator of a robotic system with a sense of touch (haptics) still remains a significant problem. This is no more dramatically illustrated than in the use of robots in surgical procedures. Some of the world's most advanced minimally invasive surgical (MIS) robots still don't allow the surgeons who operate them to feel what they are doing through their robotic surrogates. As a result, these robotic systems are used to perform only a small fraction of their overall capability.
Cambridge Research & Development (CRD) has recently completed research on a new haptic robotic interface which provides an enhanced level of tactile feedback allowing robotic operators to perform operations previously problematic and dangerous. As a proof of capability, CRD, in cooperation with surgeons in the Department of Urology at Boston Children's Hospital, successfully simulated robotic surgical procedures using solely the surgeon's sense of touch.
"The development of haptic feedback is an essential milestone for robotic surgery. Surgeons will be able to truly feel the instruments as if their hands were in the operative field. Haptic feedback may help to reduce surgical errors and may allow for improved quality of surgery," says Boston Children's Hospital, Director of Robotic Surgery, Doctor Hiep T. Nguyen.
Scientific evolution in the area of man-machine interfaces opens up new capabilities for robotic operators in medicine, space, public safety, exploration, and remote vehicle operations.
"The robotics industry understands that the true potential of robotic and cybernetics lies in the ability of man and machine to meld," says Ken Steinberg, CEO of Cambridge Research & Development. "Full bio-compatibility is in our future but advancements have to be made now if we are truly going to realize the potential of our robotic counterparts. With this new haptic interface, we feel we are providing a solution which will lead to new and exciting capabilities from the surgery room to space."
The new Siemens MRI Scanner MAGNETOM Prisma1
HD 3D view in robotic surgery for prostate cancer compensates for lack of touch
April 21, 2013
A recent study describes the phenomenon, called intersensory integration, and reports that surgical outcomes for prostate cancer surgery using minimally invasive robotic technology compare favourably with traditional invasive surgery.
Led by physician-scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and appearing in the March issue of British Journal of Urology International, the study is the first to show that a lack of tactile feedback during robotic surgery does not adversely impact outcomes in patients with prostate cancer. It also identified various visual cues that surgeons can use to improve clinical outcomes.
“Anatomical details and visual cues available through robotic surgery not only allow experienced surgeons to compensate for a lack of tactile feedback, but actually give the illusion of that sensation,” says Dr Ashutosh Tewari, the study’s lead author; professor of urology, urologic oncology, and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College; and director of the Lefrak Center of Robotic Surgery and the Institute of Prostate Cancer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.....read more
New Touch in Robotics
Image Copyright of Ken Steinberg, owner and CEO of Cambridge Reseach and Developement in Nashua
Hands-free development: New technology allows an operator to feel what a robot is doing. Posted: April 23, 2012 Cambridge Research and Development of Nashua has developed a new module that lets operators feel the pressure they’re applying via a robot, while leaving their hands free. The system combines a pneumatic air pressure-measuring device attached to the back of the head, and relays steady pressure the user can feel as a robot touches or grabs an object. Cambridge R & D’s new product goes a long way toward differentiating between the two extremes. Inventor Ken Steinberg, CRAD’s owner and chief executive, said, “What we wanted to do was to provide a sense of tactile feedback to a robotic operator in a way that did not impact their hands, that was going to be completely out of the way.” During research, Steinberg determined that any such feedback would also have to be proportional, and it would have to be usable in many different robotic applications. The potential market for the device is “anywhere where you’ve got a man-machine interface and the machine is doing the work of a human and (the human) needs to feel it,” he said. View or Download .PDF File for complete article
Sensable Customers Showcase Touch-Enabled Surgical, Medical Simulation and Robotics Innovations at MMVR Conference February 8, 2012 From Virtual Operating Rooms to Brain Surgery Simulators, Leading Research Institutions and Companies are Enhancing Results by Incorporating the Power of Touch with Haptics. Sensable's customers will feature prominently at the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR) Conference in Newport Beach, California beginning tomorrow, where they will showcase innovative haptically-enabled surgical, medical simulation, rehabilitation and robotic applications developed using Sensable's Phantom(R) force feedback haptic devices. Sensable is the de facto leader in the force-feedback haptics market, with a rich patent portfolio and over 10,000 systems installed worldwide. Sensable's Phantom haptic devices demonstrate the power of touch to transform biomedical innovation across a wide variety of computing platforms, use cases and delivery models. At MMVR this week, Sensable and its customers will show how adding the sense of touch is changing the way surgeons are trained in fundamental skills, learn advanced subspecialty skills, perform minimally invasive surgery, and achieve proficiency even in geographies where training facilities or access to cadavers are lacking....read more
Men's hopes for robot prostate surgery unrealistic:study Jan 27, 2012 (Reuters)
Robot-assisted surgery for prostate cancer has become a hot topic in recent years, but men's expectations of the surgery - including how fast they can return to their usual physical activity -- may be too high, according to a U.S. study.
Researchers writing in the journal Urology found that of nearly 200 men facing prostate cancer surgery, those having robotic surgery expected a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery, including a quicker return to their sex life.
The expectations are likely to be fed by ads, the Internet and counseling by doctors, said Judd W. Moul, a prostate surgeon at Duke University Medical Center who led the study.
"Since about the mid-2000s, people were thinking that robotic surgery was the greatest thing since sliced bread," Moul said.
But according to previous studies, aside from a somewhat shorter hospital stay, there may be no clear difference in the most important outcomes, including cancer recurrence or long-term side effects.
Prostate removal is one treatment option for prostate cancer, and in the United States a majority of those surgeries are now done with the help of a "robot," with a surgeon sitting at a console operating its "arms" that extract the prostate gland through small cuts in the abdomen.
Moul said there was reason to believe that better visualization with robotic surgery could lead to some better outcomes. But on the other hand, when surgeons actually use their hands they get "tactile feedback" that's missing with the robotic approach
Thijs Meenink and his robotic eye surgery system (Photo: Eindhoven University of Technology/Bart van Overbeeke)
Robotic system designed to perform delicate eye surgery October 27, 2011
By now, many readers are probably familiar with the da Vinci robotic surgery system. It allows a seated surgeon, using a 3D display and hand controls, to operate on a patient using robotic arms equipped with surgical instruments. Not only does the system allow for more laparoscopic surgery (in which surgical instruments access the inside of the patient's body through small incisions, instead of one large opening), but it even makes it possible for the surgeon and the patient to be in separate geographical locations. Now, a researcher at the Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology has developed a similar system, designed specifically for operations on the eye.
PhD student Thijs Meenink created his robot with procedures on the retina and the vitreous humor in mind. Such eye surgery requires a particularly steady hand - something that surgeons tend to lose as they get older. Consisting of a previously-developed dual-joysticked "master" control unit and Meenik's two-armed "slave" robotic module, the system filters out hand tremors. This is achieved through its scaling down of the operator's hand movements. If the surgeon's hand were to twitch by a centimeter, for instance, the corresponding surgical tool would only twitch by one millimeter. This should result in surgeons being able to keep performing such procedures farther into their careers.
The robot's selection of needle-like instruments are only half a millimeter wide, and include forceps, surgical scissors and drains. They can be interchanged within seconds, which is an important consideration, as one eye operation can reportedly involve up to 40 instrument changes. Due to the precision made possible by the system, those instruments can also enter the patient's eye repeatedly in exactly the same spot, minimizing damage to the eye tissue. Meenik's system additionally provides haptic feedback through the joysticks. This means...read more
Eye-Rhas, Eye-robot-for-haptically-assisted surgery - TU Eindhoven Posted: November 1, 2011
Vitreo-retinal eye surgery relates to surgery at the inner side at the back of the eye, e.g. the vitreous humor or the retina. Nowadays it is performed manually via a trocar, not unlike minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Steady hand movements are required to operate ocular tissue with high accuracy. During eye surgery forces are below the detection limit (60 mN).
Robotically assisted surgery with force feedback can extend existing surgical skills, using a master-slave system. The slave robot, performing the actual surgery, is controlled by the surgeon via a master.
Looking through a keyhole Keyhole surgery is the process of operating on a patient through a small incision. Challenges with this approach can arise from the fact that surgeons are unable to feel the tissue upon which they are operating.
Students at the University of Leeds have developed a unique haptic feedback device that virtually represents sensations of resistance that reflect the real tissue. The system could help cancer surgeons who like to feel the tissue they are cutting out - an important way of double-checking where the tumour is and if it is malignant or benign.
The students' solution combines a computer-generated environment for virtual surgery and a hand-held device that applies pressure to the users' hand. What the user feels will depend on how hard they are compressing the virtual tissue.
Team members set up the system to simulate keyhole surgery on the liver. They gathered measurements from a soft block of silicon to simulate what surgeons would 'feel' during keyhole procedures and fed these into their hand-held device. They tested the system by embedding hard ball-bearings in the artificial, silicon liver and checking whether users could find them.
"Judging from the feedback the students have received from practising surgeons, this system has real, clinical potential," said Dr Peter Culmer, a Senior Translational Research Fellow in Surgical Technologies, who supervised the work. "In the short-term, it could be used as a training tool to help surgeons get a feel for keyhole surgery - quite literally. Looking further ahead, systems such as this could become used in operating theatres on a daily basis."
"The haptic system that these students have developed goes a long way to solving one of the main disadvantages of keyhole surgery, namely the ability of the surgeon to feel the structure they are operating on," said David Jayne, Professor of Surgery at the University of Leeds and a consultant surgeon at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who tested the system in the laboratory. "If this research can be translated into the clinical setting, then it has the potential to offer benefits to surgeons and patients.".....Click here for video
The Revolution of the Hacked Kinect, Part 1: Teaching Robots & the Blind to See April 24, 2011
Robotic surgery is becoming more and more widespread—leading inadvertently to surgical practice coming to resemble video game playing. The Kinect has great potential to aide in remotely operated robotic surgery. It can generate a live 3D model of the patient, which allows the doctor to perceive depth more accurately than solely with a camera. Some experiments have even enabled the Kinect to impart haptic feedback to the doctor, the lack of which has been a serious problem for robotic surgery. It has also shown promise as a portable means of guiding the blind via that same haptic feedback.
Russians recently demonstrated the Kinect guiding a blindfolded man. The Kinect is used with Da Vinci drawing software to perform surgical incisions at the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR), at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Researchers apply Kinect to PACS imaging at the University of Forensic Medicine, Bern, Switzerland. This University of Washington team uses the Kinect to add haptic feedback to remote surgery. Master’s students Michael Zöllner and Stephan Huber of University of Konstanz in Germany created the NAVI, a Kinect-based portable unit that used haptic feedback to guide the blind.....read more
Sensable will showcase innovative Touch Enabled medical simulation and practice applications created by its customers using Sensable's Phantom(R) force feedback haptic devices and OpenHaptics(R) software toolkit at the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR) event in Newport Beach, California starting today, February 8, 2011.
As medical education embraces advanced simulation to better train the next generation of clinicians, Sensable and its customers show how adding the sense of touch can turn static computer-based learning into highly realistic training experiences whose realism make them appropriate for clinical skills building and competency testing -- with zero risk to patients....read more
Force Feedback Controller for Keyhole Surgery January 25, 2011
At Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, Eleonora Westebring-van der Putten has received her PhD for developing an interesting new grasping haptics (force feedback) interface for endoscopic and laparoscopic surgeries. In traditional procedures, how hard one presses on the instruments is directly proportional to the pressure one feels back from the tissue. It would therefore make sense to try to bring a bit of that to laparoscopic surgery.
Drs.ir E.P. Westebring-van der Putten explains the functions of her controller:
“There are sensors in the tip of the instrument that measure how hard the surgeon is grasping. This information is fed back to the handle, which contains a cylinder that can turn in relation to the hand, as if something is falling out of your hand. In this way the cylinder indicates that the surgeon has too little grip, and is therefore grasping too gently.”
“The handle also contains vibrating elements, which start to vibrate if the surgeon is grasping too hard, while also taking account of how hard the surgeon is pulling. The harder he or she pulls on the tissue, the less hard he or she should grasp. We also take the type of tissue into account. After all, it makes quite a difference whether you are grasping an intestine or working with a liver.”
“By training with feedback, surgeons learn to control their laparoscopic grasp force more quickly. The forces they apply are lower.” What is more, the effect seems to last. “When the feedback signal is removed, the surgeons can still carry out the procedure with reduced force. The feedback therefore helps with the control of the laparoscopic grasp force, even if it is only used in training.”
Haptic Feedback System for Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) was established as a surgical technique in the 1980’s. In contrast to traditional surgery, MIS is carried out through very small incisions using long instruments and a camera. Advantages for the patient include reduced pain and trauma, reduced hospitalization and recovery time, and less scarring.
More recently, further improvements in MIS have resulted from the use of robots. Surgical robots not only improve precision, by decreasing surgeons’ tremor and fatigue, but have also ushered in a new revolution: telesurgery. Using robots to perform surgery in a master-slave teleoperation mode, where the movements of the surgical robot (slave) are controlled via the surgeon’s console (master) has made it possible to conduct procedures from a remote location.
Unfortunately, these benefits to the patient have come at the expense of the surgeon’s ability to “feel”. This requires the presence of a haptic feedback control system, where a sensing instrument provides tactile information to the surgeon to enable him/her to palpate the patient’s tissues during the course of an operation. One study has shown that the use of haptic feedback can reduce tissue trauma by reducing contact forces (by 30-60%), reduce task completion time (by 30%), and reduce surgical errors (by 60%).
This innovative MIS robotic system developed by University of Western Ontario researchers successfully incorporates haptic feedback control.
The surgeon’s console is a haptic- enabled user console capable of reflecting forces/moments in all five degrees of freedom available in MIS. The key, however, to the successful integration of haptic feedback will be the development of appropriate tools. As such, a robotic laparoscopic end effector capable of non-invasively actuating a detachable tip and measuring tool/tissue interactions in all five degrees of freedom has also been developed.
The invention presents a number of competitive advantages, including:
Surgeon’s Console (Master)
Haptic feedback is incorporated in the user console in all five degrees of freedom available in MIS
Motions of handles grasped by the surgeon are the same as conventional MIS; instruments span a large workspace
The surgeon experiences a smooth perception of forces
Flexible design to adjust the system configuration for optimal dexterity and comfort of the user
Can be easily adapted to virtual-reality surgical simulation or brachytherapy applications.
Surgical Laparoscopic Robot/Tool (Slave)
Suitable as the end effector of any laparoscopic robot
Three-stage instrument and its strain- gauge sensors provide a non-invasive efficient solution to the problems posed by the incision size constraint in MIS (< 10 mm)
Detachable tips are used that can be disposed of after use
Force sensing method allows for the measurement of tip interaction forces (grasping, cutting, dissection) without using sensors on the jaws
Microhand; A Robotic System with Force Feedback for Micro-Surgery • Shuxin Wang, Jienan Ding, Jintian Yun and Qunzhi Li. School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University of China • Baoping Han. Department of Microsurgery, Tianjin Hospital of China
Abstract - A robotic system with force feedback for micro-surgery is developed (Named “Microhand”).
The system designed is based on a master-slave operation mode. The slave manipulators are designed by using macro-micro frames.
The PHANToM Desktop developed by the SensaAble Technology Company is used as the master device.
The interactive force/torque information of the slave manipulators and the surgical environments measured by the six-dimension force/torque sensors are fed back to the master device, so that the system is capable of providing force feedback to the surgeon during operations.
The validity of the system has been proved through animal experiments of vas suturing a rabbit’s 3mm in diameter neck artery and its 1mm in diameter leg artery.
UW researchers using Kinect for remote surgery systems Posted: December 30, 2010
Perhaps the most useful "hack" of Kinect is being developed by researchers from the University of Washington, who have rigged Microsoft's motion sensor for Xbox 360 to give a surgeon haptic feedback during remote robotic surgery.
At Seattle's UW Biorobotics Lab, two graduate students connected a Kinect with a commercially available Phantom Omni haptic device that gives resistance feedback to its user. The Kinect helps build 3D models of objects, and the data "is converted into haptic feedback that the other student, remotely, can feel," UW professor Howard Jay Chizeck told seattlepi.com in an e-mail.
It's hard to explain in text, so check out the video. Also, I should be clear that Kinect is not currently being used in any real surgeries.
Chizeck said the research, part of a project on telerobotic surgery, is being done by Fredrik Rydén, a visiting graduate student from Sweden, and UW PhD candidate Hawkeye King. King is a student of professor Blake Hannaford.
ARAKNES - Array of Robots Augmenting the KiNematics of Endoluminal Surgery
ARAKNES is a European Commision project on FP7-ICT-Challenge 3: Components, Systems and Engineering/Micro/Nano Systems. The Consortium is composed by eleven partners including research laboratories and companies. This project aims at bringing a set of advanced bio-robotic and microsystem technologies inside the patient’s stomach for therapy and surgery.
The global goal of ARAKNES is to integrate the advantages of traditional open surgery, minimally invasive surgery (MIS), and robotics surgery into a novel operative system for bi-manual, ambulatory, tethered, and visible scarless surgery. We aim at bringing the ARAKNES system close to real industrial manufacturing and full product validation, so as to make it available soon to surgeons for clinical use.
The introduction of robot in the medical landscape has revolutionized surgical care, considerably improving the quality of many surgical procedures. However, the lack of haptic feedback in the current robotic surgical systems is an issue that to date has not been solved. Whereas traditional open surgery provides full haptic feedback when a teleoperated robotic surgical system is used direct palpation and tactile exploration are not longer possible. One of the tasks of EPFL in this project is to integrate tactile cues in the surgeon’ workstation to increase safety and surgeon’s performance.
In addition, a dedicated ergonomic wrist is also being designed. The main goal is to adapt the haptic device to complex surgical tasks requiring more than 3 translational DOF. Several test-beds have been developed and experiments have been carried out to define the specifications of the haptic wrist. Main characteristics of the haptic workstation:
•Bimanual intuitive control for surgeons with force feedback •Providing tactile cues and vital signs of the patient •Ergonomic design
Robotic Miniature Manipulators
In order to provide force feedback to the surgeon during robotic surgery, interaction forces with the tissue have to be measured. Development of micromanipulator end effectors with sensing capabilities can solve this problem. Robotic arms integrated with smart tools, such as force and tactile sensorised graspers can provide the surgeon force and tactile feedback, thus improves the immersion of the surgeon into the operating field and the intuitiveness of the operation.
We developed a surgical robot gripper integrated with a sensor measuring Cartesian forces plus gripping force. Gripping and XYZ Cartesian forces can be measured with a resolution of 0.1N for a maximum force of 10N. Suturing, dissection and ablation instruments will be attached on this 8 mm× 9 mm× 3 mm gripper. This sensor will be used to measure the forces directly applied in the robot end-effectors to transmit this information to the haptic workstation.
The major open drawbacks of the current surgical robots are being voluminous, competing for precious space within the operating room (OR) environment and significantly increasing ORs preparation time. In addition, although robotic systems offer excellent vision and precise tissue manipulation within a defined area, they are limited in operations involving more than one quadrant of the abdomen. Since many gastrointestinal operations involve operating in at least two abdominal quadrants, the repeated disconnection and movement of the robots increase significantly the duration of the surgical procedure.
In order to overcome these drawbacks, we designed a novel external positioning manipulator, the Dionis Manipulator, able to provide sufficient dexterity and precision to position the MIS instruments. The unique design of the proposed system permits to keep the above mentioned characteristics at any location within the abdominal cavity. Extensive discussions with the surgical community have provided a precious input to establish a highly innovative engineering surgical system.
The proposed manipulator design will contribute to increase the precision and stability of abdominal surgical procedures, increasing their reliability. This is possible taking into account the performance of the presented parallel structure.
Force Feedback System Improves Robotic Grasping Force
Force Feedback System Improves Robotic Grasping Force
The Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine is developing a pneumatic balloon-based tactile feedback system for an existing robotic surgical system.
FlexiForce® sensors mounted at the distal end of a robotic grasper proportionately translate pressures applied to the surgeon’s fingers via balloon actuator arrays. Researchers have already demonstrated a reduced grasping force using this system.
FlexiForce sensors are available off-the-shelf in packs of four or eight for testing and prototyping. Visit Tekscan online store to place an order, or contact Tekscan to discuss customization options with one of their engineers.
MQP: Force Sensing and Haptic Feedback for Robotic Telesurgery
Robot-assisted surgery is an alternative to conventional laparoscopic techniques. The primary commercially available system, the da Vinci, does not provide haptic feedback. The goal of this research was to develop a force sensing module capable of integrating with the da Vinci system and provide the operator with a representation of tool-tissue interaction forces.
Joint torque sensors were developed and calibrated linearly (R2= 0.99). The sensor module was fit to a da Vinci system and confirming integration. Additionally, our aim was to develop a test platform for evaluating and implementing haptic feedback and telesurgery techniques. An industrial robot was fit with a spherical wrist and an embedded Linux control system allowing the surgical tool to be articulated about a remote center....read more
Penn Engineering professor named one of 'Brilliant 10' Posted: October 13, 2010
Popular Science magazine has named Penn Engineering’s Katherine Kuchenbecker to its annual “Brilliant 10” list of the country’s top young scientists to watch.
Kuchenbecker, the Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, is the director of the Haptics Lab, an outpost of Penn’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab. Her work blends innovative electromechanical design with modeling and user testing, proving that engineering can be practical and decidedly not boring.
Work in the Haptics Lab helps to steady the hand of an eye surgeon during delicate robotic surgery. It puts undersea and outer space repair work in remote hands and will make tomorrow’s video games even more immersive than they are today.
Haptics is the science of understanding and improving human interaction with the physical world through touch and Kuchenbecker’s research center designs the human/robotics interfaces. Most often, these tools are computer-controlled systems, such as a lightweight robotic arm that measures and responds to the motion of the human hand. Kuchenbecker’s VerroTouch System, for example, restores the sense of touch and vibration lost in robotic surgery, enabling the surgeon to feel the texture of rough surfaces or the start and end of contact with tissue.
In an example captured on video earlier this year , Kuchenbecker’s Tactile Gaming Vest used high-power solenoids to create the illusion that the wearer is being shot in the same way as their character in a first-person shooter video game.....continue reading
Better surgery with new surgical robot with force feedback Published on: 28 September, 2010
TU/e researcher Linda van den Bedem developed a compact surgical robot, which uses 'force feedback' to allow the surgeon to feel what he/she is doing. Van den Bedem intends to market Sofie, the "Surgeon’s Operating Force-feedback Interface Eindhoven".
Surgical robot Sofie. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke.
Robotic surgery makes it possible to perform highly complicated and precise operations. Surgical robots have limitations, too. For one, the surgeon does not 'feel' the force of his incision or of his/her pull on the suture, and robots are also big and clumsy to use.
Van den Bedem, last week, obtained her PhD degree at TU/e for a new type of surgical robot, Sofie. More specifically: she was awarded the title for the 'slave" of the robot, the robotic section performing the operation at the table. Van den Bedem built a prototype for this. The other components Sofie consists of are a master, the surgeon's "control panel", with driven joysticks.
Force One of the distinctive properties of Sofie is the "force feedback", i.e. "tactile feedback" in the joysticks with which the surgeon operates. This counter pressure enables a surgeon to feel exactly what force he applies when making a suture or pushing aside a bit of tissue. The finishing touch of this, the control of the force feedback, is being developed.
Tilting Moreover, Sofie is quite compact and hence less of an obstacle in the operating theater and above the patient. Its small dimensions come with an added bonus: Sofie's slave is not on the floor, but is mounted on the operating table. This averts the need of resetting everything when the operating table and the patient are moved or tilted. Further, Sofie makes it possible to approach an organ from different sides and can even operate "around the corner". Van den Bedem built the robot with assistance from TU/e's technical department. The university has patented this know-how.
Commercial At present Linda van den Bedem is building a business case together with colleagues in order to explore Sofie's commercial potential. Van den Bedem informs us that surgeons are very enthusiastic about the prototype at any rate. The price must also be made considerably more attractive than that of American robots, which cost about 1.5 million dollars apiece. The researcher expects that it will definitely take some five years or so before Sofie can really be put on the market.
An artifical skin based on the elastic polymer PDMS can 'feel' the presence of very light objects. Linda Cicero, Stanford University News Report.
Artificial skins detect the gentlest touch September 12, 2010
Super-sensitive materials can detect the weight of a butterfly.
Artificial electronic skins that can detect the gentlest of touches have been developed by two independent US research groups. The skins could eventually be used in prosthetics, or in touch-sensitive robotic devices.
Both systems detect pressure changes of less than a kilopascal, the same as everyday pressures felt by our fingers when typing or picking up a pen. This sensitivity is better than previous systems, which detected pressures of tens of kilopascals or more, or only detected static pressures so that once an object was sat on the skin, the device could not sense that it was still there.....read more
Integration of Force Feedback into Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery
In this video, we describe our approach for integrating force feedback into existing minimally invasive robotic surgery systems, such as the da Vinci System. This work was performed as a senior design project at Drexel University during the 2008-2009 academic year.
Haptic devices, such as this one provided by Force Dimension, allow human operators to get a feel for what the robot is doing.
Robots are capable of very precise motion, but must be guided with precision in order to fulfill their potential. Consider the task of guiding a robotic surgeon’s arm to suture a wound or insert a catheter. A human surgeon, with all his or her knowledge and experience, is required to practice where to probe, cut, or sew before he or she can develop the necessary skills to make a clean suture with the right degree of tension at the right depth or an incision of the right depth. In contrast, a robotic surgeon’s arm can move more consistently and accurately than that of the best human surgeon.
The key is to guide the robot surgeon’s arm with human expertise, and provide the surgeon controlling the robot arm with closed-loop motion control in order to ensure that the robotic arm does what it is supposed to do. With that in mind, a new robotic control technology called haptics is being developed to provide sensory feedback to the human surgeon while helping to guide the robotic motion.
Sensory Feedback Haptic devices are input-output devices that track a user’s physical manipulations and provide realistic touch sensations in coordination with a computer that, in turn, drives a robotic motion system.
Haptics provide sensory feedback to the controls and allows users to effectively touch, feel, and manipulate three-dimensional objects. They also can precisely control the position of the robot’s end effector (the end of the robot arm that holds the tool). In addition, 3D boundary information can be factored into the robot’s control profile to prevent motion into restricted areas where it could cause harm, making the use of haptic controls ideal for robotic surgery applications. The technology also enables the amplification, or “scaling,” of dimensions between the robotic end of the system and the human operator to enable the operator to make movement inputs that are comfortable at human scale while controlling robotic operations on a much smaller scale....continue reading
Haptic scissors with two DOF
The Haptic Scissors
The objective of the Haptic Scissors Project is to simulate the feeling of cutting tissue. This is useful for surgical simulators or the equivalent of "flight trainers" for doctors. Motors attached to the scissor handles simulate between-the-fingers forces, and translational forces.
We have simulated liver, skin, and tendon tissues, and also rendered friction between the blades to make the haptic scissors feel as realistic as possible.
Scissors cutting simulated liver tissue.
Prostate cancer surgeons 'feel' with their eyes
Robotic surgical technology's 3-D HD view gives surgeons compensatory illusion of tactile sensation
NEW YORK (March 1, 2010) — Robotic surgical technology with its three-dimensional, high-definition view gives surgeons the sensation of touch, even as they operate from a remote console. A new study describes the phenomenon, called intersensory integration, and reports that surgical outcomes for prostate cancer surgery using minimally invasive robotic technology compare favorably with traditional invasive surgery.
Led by physician-scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and appearing in the March issue of British Journal of Urology International, the study is the first to show that a lack of tactile feedback during robotic surgery does not adversely impact outcomes in patients with prostate cancer. It also identified various visual cues that surgeons can use to improve clinical outcomes.
"Anatomical details and visual cues available through robotic surgery not only allow experienced surgeons to compensate for a lack of tactile feedback, but actually give the illusion of that sensation," says Dr. Ashutosh Tewari, the study's lead author; professor of urology, urologic oncology, and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College; and director of the Lefrak Center of Robotic Surgery and the Institute of Prostate Cancer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "For patients, this means the safety of knowing the benefits of a robotic approach — including a quicker recovery — don't compromise the surgery's primary mission of removing the cancer."
In recent years, robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) has become a popular surgical method for treating prostate cancer because it is less invasive than traditional surgery. No studies have shown that RALP leads to worse outcomes, but doctors have wondered whether this was the case because surgeons often use their fingers to feel the prostate during traditional surgery to refine how much they cut to achieve the best outcome....continue reading
Allison Okamura, a Johns Hopkins associate professor of mechanical engineering and a leading researcher in human-machine interaction, demonstrates her lab's scissor-based surgical simulator. Her work is aimed at giving robotic surgical tools a sense of 'touch.'
Haptic Technology Will Allow Doctors to 'Feel' the Work of a Mechanical Helper
Researcher Gives Robotic Surgery Tools a Sense of Touch
By substituting mechanical instruments for human fingers, robotic tools give surgeons a new way to perform medical procedures with great precision in small spaces. But as the surgeon directs these tools from a computer console, an important component is lost: the sense of touch.
Johns Hopkins researchers are trying to change that by adding such sensations, known as haptic feedback, to medical robotic systems. "Haptic" refers to the sense of touch.
"The surgeons have asked for this kind of feedback," says Allison Okamura, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins. "So we're using our understanding of haptic technology to try to give surgeons back the sense of touch that they lose when they use robotic medical tools."
Okamura is a leading researcher in human-machine interaction, particularly involving mechanical devices that convey touch-like sensations to a human operator. In recent years, she has focused on medical applications as a participant in the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology, based at Johns Hopkins. With funding from the National Institutes of Health and the NSF, she has established a collaboration with Intuitive Surgical Inc., maker of the da Vinci robotic system used in many hospitals for heart and prostate operations.
Through the arrangement with Intuitive Surgical, Okamura's lab has acquired da Vinci hardware and software that allow her to conduct experiments toward achieving that goal. For example, the da Vinci's tools can be directed to tie sutures, but if the operator causes the tools to pull too hard, the thread can break. The Johns Hopkins researchers want the human operator to be able to feel resistance when too much force is applied.
"The sense of touch is important to surgeons," Okamura says. "They like to feel what's happening when they're working inside the body. They feel a 'pop' when a needle pokes through tissue. They can feel for calcification. Their sense of touch helps tell them where they are within the body. In robotic procedures and other types of minimally invasive surgery, surgeons insert long tools between their hands and the patient. This approach has definite medical benefits, but for the surgeon, there's a loss of dexterity and haptic information. It's like operating with chopsticks that have grippers on the end."
To address this, Okamura's team is experimenting with several techniques that could give some of those sensations back to the surgeons. One option is to attach to the robotic tools force sensors capable of conveying to the human operator how much force the machine is applying during surgery. Another idea is to create mathematical computer models that represent the moves made by the robotic tools, and then use this data to send haptic feedback to the operator. Both approaches have....Continue reading
Visual clues act as a substitute for haptic feedback in robotic surgery
Objective: The lack of haptic feedback (HF) in robotic surgery is one of the major concerns of novice surgeons to that field. The superior visual appearances acquired during robotic surgery may give clues that make HF less important.
Methods: We surveyed 52 individuals on their perception of HF during robotic surgery. The first group of 34 surgically inexperienced people used the da Vinci robot for their first time (drylab). The second group included 8 laparoscopic surgeons with experience up to a fifth robotic operation. The third group included 10 surgical experts with substantial experience (150-650 robotic cases). Visual analog assessment was made of perception of HF, how much HF was missed, how much the absence of HF impaired the operators’ level of comfort. Robotic experts were asked if complications have occurred as a result of a lack of HF.
Results: Of the first group, 50% reported the perception of HF, as did 55% of the second group and 100% of the third group (difference between group 1 and group 3: p < 0.05). The first group missed HF for 6.5; the second group for 4.3, and the third group for 4 (difference between groups 1 and 3: p < 0.05). The surgical experts claimed to have missed HF for 7.2 s when they first started robotic surgery (Difference to now: p < 0.05). The lack of HF caused discomfort for the first group of 4; for the second group of 4,4, and for the third group of 2,6. One complication was reported by the robotic experts as resulting from the lack of HF.
Conclusions: The data support the conclusion that even beginners quickly experience the perception of HF when performing robotic surgery. With more experience, perception of HF and the level of comfort with robotic surgery increases significantly. This perception of HF makes “real” HF less important and demonstrates that its importance is overestimated by novices in robotic surgery. Article from SpringerLink
Experimenting with haptic technology
What is Haptic Technology?
Haptics is a technology that allows human interfaces, such as joysticks, to provide force feedback cues to someone performing the procedure from a distance, making him or her feel physically connected to the remote system. Haptic technology is the key to adding sensory feedback to robots. By allowing surgeons to touch, feel, and respond to realistic sensations, haptic technology will change the face of modern-day surgery.
Robotically assisted surgery allows precision robotic tools to act like a surgeon’s arms, hands, and fingers, allowing surgeons to reach areas the human hand cannot reach without making large incisions.
If a surgeon using haptic technology controls the movement of a robotic arm and strikes an obstacle during a surgical procedure, he or she feels the force of the obstacle against his or her hand and can take steps to avoid it. This means that, when surgeons use haptic technology, they have a more acute awareness of what the remote system is doing. Also, they do not need to rely purely on visual feedback as they would when using traditional systems.
The resulting benefits include less patient trauma; reduced pain and blood loss; fewer complications; faster recovery times; and shorter hospital stays.
The medical robotic market has shown steady growth over the past seven years and the demand for these technologies is predicted to exceed $1 billion a year globally.
Maplesoft™, the leading provider of high-performance software tools for engineering, science, and mathematics, is assisting Quanser Consulting to develop revolutionary haptic (feedback) technology, taking robotically assisted surgery to the next level. Quanser is a world leader in the innovation and development of advanced control systems for industry, education, and research.
The role of haptic feedback in laparoscopic training using the LapMentor II - Abstract February 24, 2010
Laparoscopic surgery has become the standard of care for many surgical diseases. Haptic (tactile) feedback (HFB) is considered an important component of laparoscopic surgery. Virtual reality simulation (VRS) is an alternative method to teach surgical skills to surgeons in training. Newer VRS trainers such as the Simbionix Lap Mentor II provide significantly improved tactile feedback.
However, VRSs are expensive and adding HFB software adds an estimated cost of $30,000 to the commercial price. The HFB provided by the Lap Mentor II has not been validated by an independent party. We used the Simbionix Lap Mentor II in this study to demonstrate the effect of adding an HFB mechanism in the VRS trainer....continue reading
Haptics For Teleoperated Surgical Robotic Systems (New Frontiers in Robotics) Posted: December 15, 2010
Ebook Download | Haptics For Teleoperated Surgical Robotic Systems (New Frontiers in Robotics) | An important obstacle in Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is the significant degradation of haptic feedback (sensation of touch) to the surgeon about surgical instrument’s interaction with tissue. This monograph is concerned with devices and methods required for incorporating haptic feedback in master-slave...read more
Tactile Feedback System for Robotic Surgery.
Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery
offers improved range of motion over standard laparoscopic techniques, but is characterized by a total loss of haptic feedback, requiring surgeons to rely solely on visual clues. Visual information is sufficient for many procedures, however, it is often challenging to characterize tissues and apply appropriate forces to sutures without tactile information.
Tactile feedback may also enable expansion of robotic surgery to other surgical procedures that are difficult to perform without a sense of touch. Like robotic surgery, there are various robotic applications that could be aided by the addition of tactile feedback to the operator, such as industrial and military robotics, microassembly, and space applications.
The development of a pneumatic balloon-based tactile feedback system is currently underway at CASIT. Forces are detected at the distal end of the robotic grasper via a force sensor array, and the forces from each sensor element are translated to proportional pressures that are applied to the surgeon's fingers via balloon actuator arrays. This system is currently under development for use with the Da Vinci robotic surgical system, and a reduction in grasping force has already been demonstrated using the system.
Funding for this work is provided by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and the Department of Defense (DoD)
Application of Tactile/Haptic Feedback to Robotic Surgery
Robotic surgical systems have greatly contributed to the advancement of minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. However, current robotic systems do not provide tactile or haptic feedback to the operating surgeon. Under certain circumstances, particularly with the manipulation of delicate tissues and suture materials, this may prove to be a significant irritation. We hypothesize that haptic feedback, in the form of sensory substitution, facilitates the performance of surgical knot tying. This preliminary study describes evidence that visual sensory substitution permits the surgeon to apply more consistent, precise, and greater tensions to fine suture materials without breakage during robot-assisted knot tying.
Remote Palpation Instruments for Minimally Invasive Surgery
Remote Palpation Instruments for Minimally Invasive Surgery
We are developing remote palpation systems to convey tactile information from inside a patient's body to the surgeon's fingertips during minimally invasive procedures. These new instruments will contain tactile sensors that measure pressure distribution on the instruments as tissue is manipulated. The signals from these sensors will be sampled by a dedicated computer system, which will apply appropriate signal processing algorithms. Finally, the tactile information will be conveyed to the surgeon through tactile "display" devices that recreate the remote pressure distribution on the surgeon's fingertips. Creation of remote palpation technology will increase safety and reliability in present minimally invasive procedures, and bring the advantages of minimally invasive techniques to other, more complex procedures, which are not possible today.
Industrial Robot: An International Journal
Pneumatic balloon actuators for tactile feedback in robotic surgery
Purpose – Robotic surgery is limited by the lack of haptic feedback to the surgeon. The addition of tactile information may enable surgeons to feel tissue characteristics, appropriately tension sutures, and identify pathologic conditions. Tactile feedback may also enable expansion of minimally invasive surgery to other surgical procedures and decrease the learning curve associated with robotic surgery. This paper aims to explore a system to provide tactile feedback.
Design/methodology/approach – A pneumatic balloon-based system has been developed to provide tactile feedback to the fingers of the surgeon during robotic surgery. The system features a polydimethyl siloxane actuator with a thin-film silicone balloon membrane and a compact pneumatic control system. The 1.0?×?1.8?×?0.4?cm actuators designed for the da Vinci system feature a 3?×?2 array of 3?mm inflatable balloons.
Findings – The low-profile pneumatic system and actuator have been mounted directly onto the da Vinci surgical system. Human perceptual tests have indicated that pneumatic balloon-based tactile input is an effective means to provide tactile information to the fingers of the surgeon.
Research limitations/implications – Application of a complete tactile feedback system is limited by current force sensing technologies.
Originality/value – The actuators have been designed such that they can be mounted directly onto the hand controls of the da Vinci robotic system, and are scalable such that they can be applied to various robotic applications.
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