Force-detecting gripper and force feedback system for neurosurgery applications
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Purpose For the application of less invasive robotic neurosurgery to the resection of deep-seated tumors, a prototype system of a force-detecting gripper with a flexible micromanipulator and force feedback to the operating unit will be developed.
Methods Gripping force applied on the gripper is detected by strain gauges attached to the gripper clip. The signal is transmitted to the amplifier by wires running through the inner tube of the manipulator. Proportional force is applied on the finger lever of the operating unit by the surgeon using a bilateral control program. A pulling force experienced by the gripper is also detected at the gripper clip. The signal for the pulling force is transmitted in a manner identical to that mentioned previously, and the proportional torque is applied on the touching roller of the finger lever of the operating unit. The surgeon can feel the gripping force as the resistance of the operating force of the finger and can feel the pulling force as the friction at the finger surface.
Results A basic operation test showed that both the gripping force and pulling force were clearly detected in the gripping of soft material and that the operator could feel the gripping force and pulling force at the finger lever of the operating unit.
Conclusions A prototype of the force feedback in the microgripping manipulator system has been developed. The system will be useful for removing deep-seated brain tumors in future master–slave-type robotic neurosurgery.
KeywordsNeurosurgery Robotic surgery Brain tumor Manipulator Force feedback
The authors would like to thank Y. Yamashita, Y. Fujihira, K. Tanaka, N. Sugiyama, T. Hanyu, K. Azuma, T. Osawa, Y. Tanaka, K. Takahashi, W. Ueno, and T. Fujii for their efforts in developing the manipulator system.
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest in this study.
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