Danion, F., J. S. Diamond, et al. (2012). “The role of haptic feedback when manipulating nonrigid objects.”Journal of Neurophysiology 107(1): 433-441.
Humans can learn to manipulate objects with complex dynamics, including nonrigid objects with internal degrees of freedom. The first aim of this study was to assess the contribution of haptic feedback when learning to manipulate a nonrigid object. The second aim was to evaluate how learning without haptic feedback influences subsequent learning with haptic feedback and vice versa. The task involved moving a simulated mass-attached to a grasped handle via a simulated, damped spring-to a target as quickly as possible. In the haptic plus vision (HV) condition, appropriate forces were applied to the handle, which was attached to a robot. In the vision only (V) condition, these forces were turned off. Participants completed 80 trials in each condition, with one-half starting with the HV condition. Both groups exhibited significant learning, as measured by movement time, in both conditions. For the condition performed first, initial performance, learning rate, and final performance were better with haptic feedback. Prior experience in the HV condition led to faster learning and better final performance in the V condition. However, prior experience in the V condition led to slower learning and worse final performance in the HV condition. In the V condition, all participants tended to keep the mass close to the hand. In the HV condition, participants who started with the HV condition allowed the mass to move away from the hand, whereas participants who started with the V condition continued to keep the mass close to the hand. We conclude that haptic feedback as well as prior experience with haptic feedback enhance the ability to control nonrigid objects and that training without haptic feedback can lead to persisting detrimental effects when subsequently dealing with haptic feedback.
Newton, R. C., D. P. Noonan, et al. (2012). “Robot-assisted transvaginal peritoneoscopy using confocal endomicroscopy: a feasibility study in a porcine model.” Surgical Endoscopy: 1-9.
Background: Optical biopsy methods such as probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) provide useful intraoperative real-time information, especially during minimally invasive surgery with flexible endoscopic or robotic platforms. By translating the probe at constant pressure across the target tissue, undistorted “mosaics” can be produced. However, this poses ergonomic challenges with a conventional flexible endoscope. Methods: A 100 μm confocal depth pCLE probe was integrated into a previously described seven degrees-of-freedom articulated endoscopic robot. After estimating the average workspace created by a female pneumoperitoneum, the accessibility of the peritoneal cavity by the device for robot-assisted pCLE peritoneoscopy was calculated. To demonstrate its in vivo feasibility, the robot was inserted transvaginally in a pig, under laparoscopic vision. Optical biopsy was performed of several targets within the peritoneal cavity. Results: The workspace analysis calculated that 88 % of the surface of an estimated average female pneumoperitoneum could be contacted by the probe using the robot transvaginally. In vivo, the robot was manoeuvred to provide views of all abdominal and pelvic organs. At each target there was robotic acquisition of still pCLE images, and slowly translating images for the construction of increased field-of-view mosaics up to 2 mm in length. Optical biopsies took 1-2 min per target, and at 3.5 μm lateral resolution, the mosaic images showed characteristic features of anterior abdominal wall, liver, and spleen. Conclusion: In the porcine model, the robotically actuated method of performing peritoneoscopy and pCLE mosaicked optical biopsy is safe and provides a consistent means of acquiring near-histological grade images of submesothelial tissue. Clinical translation is likely to provide sufficient accessibility of the peritoneal cavity. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Pahlavan, P., S. Najarian, et al. (2011). “Artificial tactile sensing approach in aortic-repair-laparoscopy: aorta cross clamping during surgery.” Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology 35(8): 420-424.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is one of the most common diseases of the vascular system for which the most definitive treatment is surgery. Laparoscopy is a primary method of minimally invasive surgery that could be useful in aortic repair surgeries. Although this method of surgery has significant advantages, the difficulty of exactly distinguishing the aorta from its surrounding tissues is its main drawback; this can cause many problems during the aorta cross clamping process. One of the most important limitations is that it is a time-consuming process; aorta cross clamping leads to increases in surgery duration. Artificial tactile sensing is an innovative technology aiming to make tactile data more available for surgeons, especially in situations where developments in technology make the surgeons less efficient. In this paper, considering the present problems during aortic repair laparoscopy, applicability of a novel tactile robotic system capable of cross clamping an artery during laparoscopy was evaluated. Having considered a small, 5-degree-of-planar-freedom robot and imitated surgeon’s palpation using software, the path followed by the tip of the new tactile robotic system was extracted. It is shown that this new tactile robotic system is well capable of dissecting an artery from its adjacent tissues in a short time with an acceptable accuracy. The functional principles of the tactile robotic system capable of cross clamping the aorta during laparoscopy will also be presented.
Silvestri, M., M. Simi, et al. (2011). “Autostereoscopic three-dimensional viewer evaluation through comparison with conventional interfaces in laparoscopic surgery.” Surgical Innovation 18(3): 223-230.
In the near future, it is likely that 3-dimensional (3D) surgical endoscopes will replace current 2D imaging systems given the rapid spreading of stereoscopy in the consumer market. In this evaluation study, an emerging technology, the autostereoscopic monitor, is compared with the visualization systems mainly used in laparoscopic surgery: a binocular visor, technically equivalent from the viewer’s point of view to the da Vinci 3D console, and a standard 2D monitor. A total of 16 physicians with no experience in 3D interfaces performed 5 different tasks, and the execution time and accuracy of the tasks were evaluated. Moreover, subjective preferences were recorded to qualitatively evaluate the different technologies at the end of each trial. This study demonstrated that the autostereoscopic display is equally effective as the binocular visor for both low- and high-complexity tasks and that it guarantees better performance in terms of execution time than the standard 2D monitor. Moreover, an unconventional task, included to provide the same conditions to the surgeons regardless of their experience, was performed 22% faster when using the autostereoscopic monitor than the binocular visor. However, the final questionnaires demonstrated that 60% of participants preferred the user-friendliness of the binocular visor. These results are greatly heartening because autostereoscopic technology is still in its early stages and offers potential improvement. As a consequence, the authors expect that the increasing interest in autostereoscopy could improve its friendliness in the future and allow the technology to be widely accepted in surgery.