Sensory Subtraction via Cutaneous Feedback in Robot-Assisted Surgery

  • Leonardo Meli
  • Claudio Pacchierotti
  • Domenico Prattichizzo
Conference paper
Part of the Mechanisms and Machine Science book series (Mechan. Machine Science, volume 38)


This paper presents a novel approach to force feedback in robot-assisted surgery. Haptic stimuli, consisting of kinesthetic and cutaneous components, are substituted with cutaneous feedback only. This new approach to sensory substitution is called sensory subtraction, as it subtracts the destabilizing kinesthetic part of the haptic interaction to leave only cutaneous cues. In order to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed technique, we carried out a bimanual teleoperation experiment, similar to the da Vinci Skills Simulator’s Pegboard task. We compared the performance of our sensory subtraction approach with that of (1) complete haptic feedback and (2) auditory feedback in substitution of force feedback. Results assessed the proposed method as a viable solution to substitute haptic feedback in complex teleoperation scenarios. Moreover, this approach, as any other sensory substitution technique, allows to overcome any stability issue affecting the haptic loop.


Haptic interfaces Telemedicine Telerobotics Surgery Biomedical engineering Tactile feedback 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Meli
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claudio Pacchierotti
    • 2
  • Domenico Prattichizzo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Information Engineering and MathematicsUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Advanced RoboticsIstituto Italiano Di TecnologiaGenoaItaly

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