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Research Papers

A Four Degree of Freedom Robot for Positioning Ultrasound Imaging Catheters

[+] Author and Article Information
Paul M. Loschak

Harvard Biorobotics Laboratory,
Paulson School of Engineering
and Applied Sciences,
Harvard University,
Cambridge, MA 02138
e-mail: loschak@seas.harvard.edu

Alperen Degirmenci

Harvard Biorobotics Laboratory,
Paulson School of Engineering
and Applied Sciences,
Harvard University,
Cambridge, MA 02138
e-mail: adegirmenci@seas.harvard.edu

Yaroslav Tenzer

Harvard Biorobotics Laboratory,
Paulson School of Engineering
and Applied Sciences,
Harvard University,
Cambridge, MA 02138
e-mail: ytenzer@seas.harvard.edu

Cory M. Tschabrunn

Technical Director
Experimental Electrophysiology,
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine,
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
Boston, MA 02215
e-mail: cory.tschabrunn@bidmc.harvard.edu

Elad Anter

Director
Experimental Electrophysiology,
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine,
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
Boston, MA 02215
e-mail: eanter@bidmc.harvard.edu

Robert D. Howe

Professor
Harvard Biorobotics Laboratory,
Paulson School of Engineering
and Applied Sciences,
Harvard University,
Cambridge, MA 02138
e-mail: howe@seas.harvard.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 20, 2015; final manuscript received December 10, 2015; published online May 4, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Venkat Krovi.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(5), 051016 (May 04, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1273; doi: 10.1115/1.4032249 History: Received September 20, 2015; Revised December 10, 2015

In this paper, we present the design, fabrication, and testing of a robot for automatically positioning ultrasound (US) imaging catheters. Our system will point US catheters to provide real-time imaging of anatomical structures and working instruments during minimally invasive procedures. Manually navigating US catheters is difficult and requires extensive training in order to aim the US imager at desired targets. Therefore, a four-degree-of-freedom (4DOF) robotic system was developed to automatically navigate US imaging catheters for enhanced imaging. A rotational transmission enables 3DOF for pitch, yaw, and roll of the imager. This transmission is translated by the 4DOF. An accuracy analysis calculated the maximum allowable joint motion error. Rotational joints must be accurate to within 1.5 deg, and the translational joint must be accurate within 1.4 mm. Motion tests then validated the accuracy of the robot. The average resulting errors in positioning of the rotational joints were 0.04–0.22 deg. The average measured backlash was 0.18–0.86 deg. Measurements of average translational positioning and backlash errors were negligible. The resulting joint motion errors were well within the required specifications for accurate robot motion. The output of the catheter was then tested to verify the effectiveness of the handle motions to transmit torques and translations to the catheter tip. The catheter tip was navigated to desired target poses with average error 1.3 mm and 0.71 deg. Such effective manipulation of US imaging catheters will enable better visualization in various procedures ranging from cardiac arrhythmia treatment to tumor removal in urological cases.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Catheters
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References

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Loschak, P. , Brattain, L. , and Howe, R. , 2013, “ Automated Pointing of Cardiac Imaging Catheters,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Karlsruhe, Germany, May 6–10, pp. 5794–5799.
Loschak, P. M. , Brattain, L. J. , and Howe, R. D. , 2014, “ Algorithms for Automated Pointing of Cardiac Imaging Catheters,” Computer-Assisted and Robotic Endoscopy, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 99–109.
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Loschak, P. M. , Tenzer, Y. , Degirmenci, A. , and Howe, R. D. , 2016, “ A 4-DOF Robot for Positioning Ultrasound Imaging Catheters,” ASME J. Mech. Rob. (in press).
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Catheter handle degrees-of-freedom and resulting catheter tip motions

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Fig. 2

(a) Catheter motion during panorama image collection. (b) Instrument tracking: adjustment of imaging plane to visualize ablation catheter tip.

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Fig. 3

US catheter robotic system

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Fig. 4

Manual manipulation of handle roll requires coordinated two-handed movements

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Fig. 5

A demonstration of catheter attachment to the robotic system. Attachment and detachment take less than 10 s.

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Fig. 6

CAD model of the complete robotic system

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Fig. 7

Cross-sectional view showing knob interactions with the catheter. Parts (B), (E), and (H) are bearings. Parts (B), (C), (D), and (E) enable yaw; parts (E), (F), (G), and (H) enable pitch; and parts (A), (B), (H), (I), and (J) enable roll.

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Fig. 8

CAD model showing a detailed bottom view of the rotational transmission

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Fig. 9

CAD model showing actuator arrangement

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Fig. 10

Roll clamp and buckling prevention mechanisms

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Fig. 11

Fully assembled robotic system

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Fig. 12

Joint motion during (left) pitch, (middle) yaw, and (right) roll

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Fig. 13

Relationship between handle roll input and catheter tip roll output

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Fig. 14

Relationship between handle insertion input and catheter tip translation output

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Fig. 15

The controller (gray box) receives the desired catheter tip pose and iteratively calculates joint angle adjustments to manipulate the catheter

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Fig. 16

Bench-top catheter tip navigation of a square trajectory

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Fig. 17

In vivo catheter tip navigation to maintain fixed position during imager angle adjustment. A 2 deg step input was given to the controller at t = 7 s.

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