IEEE Spectrum: Enhanced Haptic Feedback Replace Surgeons’ Sense of Touch at King’s CoRe

IEEE Spectrum recently reported about haptic feedback solutions for minimally invasive surgery proposed by world-leading research groups. The article mentions the work  that the Centre for Robotics Research (CoRe) led by robotics expert Prof. Kaspar Althoefer at King’s College London has devised a system that tracks the probe’s spatial position, how deeply it indents the tissue, and the reaction force of the tissue. His design is based on optical fiber technology, and the probe is able to roll over the tissue surface with minimal friction.

Althoefer’s probe consists of three surface-profile sensors equally spaced around a spherical indenter. As the probe glides over a tissue surface, the sphere, which floats on a pocket of air, indents the tissue, and a pair of optical fibers measures the indentation. Another set of optical fibers measures the displacement of the three profile sensors, which move up and down with the tissue surface. The three surface sensors and the spherical indenter work jointly to determine the indentation depth and the force with which the tissue pushes back, making a map of the tissue’s stiffness. The probe has not yet been tested in an animal.

Please read the full article here.

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