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A Three-limb Teleoperated Robotic System with Foot Control for Flexible Endoscopic Surgery

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: Flexible endoscopy requires high skills to manipulate both the endoscope andassociated instruments. In most robotic flexible endoscopic systems, theendoscope and instruments are controlled separately by two operators, which mayresult in communication errors and inefficient operation. We present a novelteleoperation robotic endoscopic system that can be commanded by a surgeonalone. This 13 degrees-of-freedom (DoF) system integrates a foot-controlledrobotic flexible endoscope and two hand-controlled robotic endoscopicinstruments (a robotic grasper and a robotic cauterizing hook). Afoot-controlled human-machine interface maps the natural foot gestures to the4-DoF movements of the endoscope, and two hand-controlled interfaces map themovements of the two hands to the two instruments individually. The proposedrobotic system was validated in an ex-vivo experiment carried out by sixsubjects, where foot control was also compared with a sequential clutch-basedhand control scheme. The participants could successfully teleoperate theendoscope and the two instruments to cut the tissues at scattered target areasin a porcine stomach. Foot control yielded 43.7 faster task completion andrequired less mental effort as compared to the clutch-based hand controlscheme. The system introduced in this paper is intuitive for three-limbmanipulation even for operators without experience of handling the endoscopeand robotic instruments. This three-limb teleoperated robotic system enablesone surgeon to intuitively control three endoscopic tools which normallyrequire two operators, leading to reduced manpower, less communication errors,and improved efficiency.

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