Potential Tissue Puncture Notification during Telesurgery
This paper proposes the use of vibrotactile feedback during telesurgery to notify surgeons of potential tissue puncture. Puncture trials using an experimental telesurgical apparatus were performed on an artificial membrane to characterize general force ranges at which punctures occur. The average force threshold during puncture was established, and human operators then attempted to apply a maximum force to the membrane without causing a puncture via the telesurgical apparatus. As the surgical tool-tip approached the pre-established force threshold, a wrist-mounted haptuator worn by the operators vibrated a warning. Warnings via different sensory modalities (auditory and tactile) were compared both with and without force feedback. Results show that the use of a warning via either sensory modality decreases the maximum force applied by the operator, thereby decreasing the occurrence of unintentional punctures. The inclusion of force feedback achieved similar results, though task completion times were significantly increased.
Keywordshaptics haptuator keyhole surgery teleoperation telesurgery tissue puncture
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