Surgical RoboticsView this Special Issue
Teletactile System Based on Mechanical Properties Estimation
Tactile feedback is a major missing feature in minimally invasive procedures; it is an essential means of diagnosis and orientation during surgical procedures. Previous works have presented a remote palpation feedback system based on the coupling between a pressure sensor and a general haptic interface. Here a new approach is presented based on the direct estimation of the tissue mechanical properties and finally their presentation to the operator by means of a haptic interface. The approach presents different technical difficulties and some solutions are proposed: the implementation of a fast Young’s modulus estimation algorithm, the implementation of a real time finite element model, and finally the implementation of a stiffness estimation approach in order to guarantee the system’s stability. The work is concluded with an experimental evaluation of the whole system.