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Research Papers

A Compliant End-Effector to Passively Limit the Force in Tele-Operated Tissue-Cutting

[+] Author and Article Information
Santosh D. B. Bhargav

e-mail: sbhargav@mecheng.iisc.ernet.in

Shanthanu Chakravarthy

e-mail: sc@mecheng.iisc.ernet.in

G. K. Ananthasuresh

e-mail: suresh@mecheng.iisc.ernet.in
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 20, 2012; final manuscript received September 10, 2012; published online October 11, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Hamid M. Lankarani.

J. Med. Devices 6(4), 041005 (Oct 11, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007638 History: Received April 20, 2012; Revised September 10, 2012

This paper presents a compliant end-effector that cuts soft tissues and senses the cutting forces. The end-effector is designed to have an upper threshold on cutting forces to facilitate safe handling of tissue during automated cutting. This is demonstrated with nonlinear finite element analysis and experimental results obtained by cutting inhomogeneous phantom tissue. The cutting forces are estimated using a vision-based technique that uses amplified elastic deformation of the compliant end-effector. We also demonstrate an immersive tele-operated tissue-cutting system together with a haptic device that gives real-time force feedback to the user.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Tissue-cutting tele-operation setup

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Fig. 2

The slave manipulator cutting phantom tissue. The inserts show close-up views of the setup.

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Fig. 3

The compliant end-effector

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Fig. 4

Flow of information in the tele-operated tissue-cutting setup

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Fig. 5

(a) The deformation characteristic of the chosen mechanism. (b) The spring-leverage model of the mechanism to represent the kinematic and elastic deformation characteristics of the mechanism.

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Fig. 6

(a) The drawing and (b) the fabricated mechanism that serves as the compliant end-effector. All dimensions are in mm.

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Fig. 7

The end-effector, attached to a rigid plate, is moved to cut the specimen; some of the beams that buckle due to the force of cutting are pointed out

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Fig. 8

(a) The points on the scalpel chosen to apply the force (Fc). (b) X-displacement characteristic of the end-effector for the cutting-force (Fc) indicating the reaction in the overall stiffness of the mechanism in the cutting direction. (c) Lift-off of the scalpel for the cutting-force indicating that different points on the scalpel retract depending on the cutting-force. (d) The close-up view (of the box) showing that the Y-displacement characteristic for the points d1-4 is different (although very subtle).

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Fig. 9

(a) A specimen to demonstrate lift-off-characteristic of the compliant end-effector. (b) Plot comparing the experimental, estimated and simulated values of the Y-displacement of tip of the scalpel. (c) Cutting profile of different points of the scalpel estimated using a priori curve.

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Fig. 12

Measured force during tele-operated tissue-cutting operation

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Fig. 11

(a) Phantom tissue used in the experiments. (b) Plot comparing the forces measured by compliant and rigid end-effectors.

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Fig. 10

(a) The compliant end-effector is moved against the load-cell to both demonstrate the force-limitation and as well as calibration. (b) Input force versus output displacement of the compliant cutter used for force-calibration.

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