Research Papers

Surgical Robot With Variable Remote Center of Motion Mechanism Using Flexible Structure

[+] Author and Article Information
Sho Yoshida

Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering,
Tokyo Medical and Dental University,
Tokyo 101-0062, Japan
e-mail: yoshida.sho.yl@gmail.com

Takahiro Kanno

Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering,
Tokyo Medical and Dental University,
Tokyo 101-0062, Japan
e-mail: kanno.bmc@tmd.ac.jp

Kenji Kawashima

Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering,
Tokyo Medical and Dental University,
Tokyo 101-0062, Japan
e-mail: kkawa.bmc@tmd.ac.jp

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received July 5, 2017; final manuscript received January 25, 2018; published online April 5, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Jian S. Dai.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 10(3), 031011 (Apr 05, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: JMR-17-1201; doi: 10.1115/1.4039396 History: Received July 05, 2017; Revised January 25, 2018

Remote center of motion (RCM) mechanisms are often used in surgical robots for laparoscopic surgery. In this paper, a RCM mechanism for holding a robotic forceps that facilitates adjustment using a flexible structure is proposed. The flexible structure is designed and manufactured with polypropylene-like resin material using a three-dimensional (3D) printer. Super elastic NI-Ti rods are inserted in the structure to have elasticity for bending and have rigidity for twisting. The structure achieves pitch motion around the remote center with two pneumatic cylinders. One cylinder drives the position and the other cylinder controls the bending radius of the structure. Therefore, the location of the remote center can be variable. This allows easier adjustment of the remote center before or during operation. The holder robot including the mechanism has four degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) in total, consisting of the pitch, a rotation around yaw axis, a translation in the direction of forceps insertion and a rotation of the forceps. Pneumatic rotary actuators are used for rotations and a cylinder is used for the translational motion. The model of the flexible structure is derived experimentally to design a controller for the pitch motion. A pneumatically driven robotic forceps is mounted on the holder to construct a master–slave control system. Experimental results show that the proposed control law achieves the desired rotational pitch motion. We compare the holder with a rigid link RCM holder and confirm the robustness of the proposed holder for variable remote center. Finally, the effectiveness of the system is confirmed with suturing tasks using a phantom tissue.

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Fig. 1

Proposed RCM mechanism: (a) concept of variable RCM Mechanism and (b) avoiding self-interference and generating surgeons' large workspace

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Fig. 2

Schematic of flexible joint

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Fig. 3

Results of the deflection measurement

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Fig. 4

Proposed 4DOF holder: (a) schematic of 4DOF holder. q1, q2, and q4 are rotational, and q3 is translational DOF, respectively and (b) photograph of 4DOF holder with 2DOF forceps robot.

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Fig. 5

Proposed control system: (a) block diagram of the master–slave system, (b) position controller, and (c) pneumatic force control system, respectively

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Fig. 6

Schematic of the pitch-angle-rotation and contact-force measurement system

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Fig. 7

θ against x1 and L against x1 (r=220 mm)

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Fig. 8

Trajectory of the tip position: (a) without compensation and (b) compensated by using prismatic motion (q3)

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Fig. 9

Average value of the measured contact force: (a) proposed RCM mechanism and (b) proposed versus conventional (Ibis)

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Fig. 10

Suturing experiment using the master–slave system: (a) Holder's motion without interference and (b) achieved suturing task

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Fig. 11

Dynamic response of q1, q2, q3, and q4



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