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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 412816, 14 pages
Review Article

Advances in Haptics, Tactile Sensing, and Manipulation for Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery, Noninvasive Surgery, and Diagnosis

1Department of Advanced Robotics, Chiba Institute of Technology, 2-17-1 Tsudanuma, Narashino, Chiba 285-0016, Japan
2Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3Department of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117575
4Driftmier Engineering Center, College of Engineering, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
5Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
6Advanced Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Suite No. 83A3, Building No. 2, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
7Advanced Material Institute, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China

Received 11 March 2012; Accepted 11 September 2012

Academic Editor: Yangmin Li

Copyright © 2012 Abbi Hamed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The developments of medical practices and medical technologies have always progressed concurrently. The relatively recent developments in endoscopic technologies have allowed the realization of the “minimally invasive” form of surgeries. The advancements in robotics facilitate precise surgeries that are often integrated with medical image guidance capability. This in turn has driven the further development of technology to compensate for the unique complexities engendered by this new format and to improve the performance and broaden the scope of the procedures that can be performed. Medical robotics has been a central component of this development due to the highly suitable characteristics that a robotic system can purport, including highly optimizable mechanical conformation and the ability to program assistive functions in medical robots for surgeons to perform safe and accurate minimally invasive surgeries. In addition, combining the robot-assisted interventions with touch-sensing and medical imaging technologies can greatly improve the available information and thus help to ensure that minimally invasive surgeries continue to gain popularity and stay at the focus of modern medical technology development. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of robotic systems for minimally invasive and noninvasive surgeries, precise surgeries, diagnoses, and their corresponding technologies.