Artificial palpation in robotic surgery using haptic feedback.
BACKGROUND: The loss of tactile feedback in minimally invasive robotic surgery remains a major challenge to the expanding field. With visual cue compensation alone, tissue characterization via palpation proves to be immensely difficult. This work evaluates a bimodal vibrotactile system as a means of conveying applied forces to simulate haptic feedback in two sets of studies simulating an artificial palpation task using the da Vinci surgical robot. METHODS: Subjects in the first study were tasked with localizing an embedded vessel in a soft tissue phantom using a single-sensor unit. In the second study, subjects localized tumor-like structures using a three-sensor array. In both sets of studies, subjects completed the task under three trial conditions: no feedback, normal force tactile feedback, and hybrid vibrotactile feedback. Recordings of correct localization, incorrect localization, and time-to-completion were used to evaluate performance outcomes. RESULTS: With the addition of vibrotactile and pneumatic feedback, significant improvements in the percentage of correct localization attempts were detected (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.0459, respectively) during the first experiment with phantom vessels. Similarly, significant improvements in correct localization were found with the addition of vibrotactile (p = 2.57E-5) and pneumatic significance (p = 8.54E-5) were observed in the second experiment involving tumor phantoms. CONCLUSIONS: This work demonstrates not only the superior benefits of a multi-modal feedback over traditional single-modality feedback, but also the effectiveness of vibration in providing haptic feedback to artificial palpation systems.
Abiri, A; Juo, Y-Y; Tao, A; Askari, SJ; Pensa, J; Bisley, JW; Dutson, EP; Grundfest, WS
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