Researchers earn Medical Devices paper award

A team of Western and Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR) researchers have received the 2014 Best Paper Award of the Journal of Medical Devices, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for their paper, A Dual-Arm 7-DOF Haptics-Enabled Teleoperation Test Bed for Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Led by Distinguished University Professor professor Rajni Patel, the Director of Engineering at CSTAR, the group includes Electrical and Computer Engineering postdoctoral scholar Ali Talasaz, Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Ana Luisa Trejos, as well as Simon Perrault and Harmanpreet Bassan, PhD’07.

The paper describes a dual-arm teleoperation (master-slave) system, which has been developed to explore the effect of haptics in robotics-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RAMIS). This setup is capable of measuring forces in 7 degrees of freedom (DOF) and fully reflecting them to the operator through two 7-DOF haptic interfaces.

“The test bed was developed during the doctoral research of Ali Talasaz,” Patel said. “It is part of a major project led by me at CSTAR on haptics (sense of touch) and teleoperation in minimal invasive surgery and therapy.”

One application of the test bed is in enabling the evaluation of the effect of replacing haptic feedback by other sensory cues such as visual representation of haptic information (sensory substitution).

This paper also discusses the design rationale, kinematic analysis and dynamic modeling of the robot manipulators, and the control system developed for the setup. Using the technology described in this paper, a highly transparent haptics-enabled system can be achieved that would be suitable for use in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery.