Background: Drilling through bone is a common task during otologic procedures. Currently, the drilling tool is manually held by the surgeon. This project was to demonstrate the feasibility of using the da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK) to hold the drill and provide force feedback for temporal bone drilling.
Methods: A modified da Vinci surgical instrument with force sensing was developed to enable robotically assisted drilling for otologic surgery. To provide intuitive motion and force feedback, the master–slave kinematics were analyzed and a suitable mapping was implemented.
Results: Several experiments were completed including trajectory tracking of master–slave motion, drill instrument calibration, and force feedback using a temporal bone model. The results showed that good trajectory tracking performance, and minor calibration errors were achieved. In addition, force feedback from the drill instrument could be felt at the master arm.
Conclusions: A robotically assisted surgical drill for otologic surgery was developed and demonstrated using the dVRK. In the future, it may be feasible to use master–slave surgical robot systems for temporal bone drilling.