Abstract: The Raven I and the Raven II surgical robots, as open research platforms, have been serving the robotic surgery research community for ten years. The paper 1) briefly presents the Raven I and the Raven II robots, 2) reviews the recent publications that are built upon the Raven robots, aim to be applied to the Raven robots, or are directly compared with the Raven robots, and 3) uses the Raven robots as a case study to discuss the popular research problems in the research community and the trend of robotic surgery study. Instead of being a thorough literature review, this work only reviews the works formally published in the past three years and uses these recent publications to analyze the research interests, the popular open research problems, and opportunities in the topic of robotic surgery.
Keywords: the Raven Robots, Robotic Surgery, Open Platform
Abstract: Open-sourced kinematic models of the da Vinci Surgical System have previously been developed using serial chains for forward and inverse kinematics. However, these models do not describe the motion of every link in the closed-loop mechanism of the da Vinci manipulators; knowing the kinematics of all components in motion is essential for the foundation of modeling the system dynamics and implementing representative simulations. This paper proposes a modeling method of the closed-loop kinematics, using the existing da Vinci kinematics and an optical motion capture link length calibration. Resulting link lengths and DH parameters are presented and used as the basis for ROS-based simulation models. The models were simulated in RViz visualization simulation and Gazebo dynamics simulation. Additionally, the closed-loop kinematic chain was verified by comparing the remote center of motion location of simulation with the hardware. Furthermore, the dynamic simulation resulted in satisfactory joint stability and performance. All models and simulations are provided as an open-source package.
Keywords: Surgical Robots; Closed Chain Model; Kinematic Calibration; ROS Simulations
Abstract: The da Vinci surgical robot is widely used for minimally-invasive surgery. It inserts multiple articulated instruments through small incisions into the patient. The robot system contains encoders to measure joint displacements which, when combined with the kinematic model of the robot, measures the instrument position and orientation. But, the accuracy of these measurements is affected by non-kinematic errors, such as bending of the instruments due to applied loads. We develop a compliance model that relates displacement of the first two joints of the da Vinci Patient Side Manipulator (PSM) to lateral forces applied to the instrument shaft. This model enables us to compensate for these errors based on the measured joint efforts, which are derived from the measured motor currents. We perform experiments with the open-source da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK) to estimate the model parameters and to evaluate the accuracy improvement that results from application of this model. Preliminary results indicate that the model-based correction can reduce instrument position error due to externally-applied forces.
Keywords: da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK); compliance model; calibration
Abstract: Robotic assistance is becoming a standard in Minimally Invasive Surgery. Despite its clinical benefits and technical potential, surgeons still have to perform manually a number of monotonous and time-consuming surgical subtasks, like knot-tying or blunt dissection. Many believe that the next bold step in the advancement of robotic surgery is the automation of such subtasks. Partial automation can reduce the cognitive load on surgeons, and support them in paying more attention to the critical elements of the surgical workflow. Our aim was to develop a software framework to ease and hasten the automation of surgical subtasks. This framework was built alongside the Da Vinci Research Kit (DVRK), while it can be ported onto other robotic platforms, since it is based on the Robot Operating System (ROS). The software includes both stereo vision-based and hierarchical motion planning, with a wide palette of often used surgical gestures—such as grasping, cutting or soft tissue manipulation—as building blocks to support the high-level implementation of autonomous surgical subtask execution routines. This open-source surgical automation framework-named irob-saf-is available at https://github.com/ABC-iRobotics/irob-saf.
Keywords: robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery; surgical robotics; subtask automation; open-source platform
Abstract: The da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK) is a first generation da Vinci robot repurposed as a research platform and coupled with software and controllers developed by research users. An already quite wide community is currently sharing the dVRK (32 systems in 28 sites worldwide). The access to the robotic system for training surgeons and for developing new surgical procedures, tools and new control modalities is still difficult due to the limited availability and high maintenance costs. The development of simulation tools provides a low cost, easy and safe alternative to the use of the real platform for preliminary research and training activities. The Portable dVRK, which is described in this work, is based on a V-REP simulator of the dVRK patient side and endoscopic camera manipulators which are controlled through two haptic interfaces and a 3D viewer, respectively. The V-REP simulator is augmented with a physics engine allowing to render the interaction of new developed tools with soft objects. Full integration in the ROS control architecture makes the simulator flexible and easy to be interfaced with other possible devices. Several scenes have been implemented to illustrate performance and potentials of the developed simulator.
Keywords: Robotic surgery simulators; Minimally invasive robotic surgery; Virtual reality
Abstract: Interstitial breast brachytherapy is a method to deliver radiation therapy directly to the site of cancer. It is a challenging procedure because of issues in localizing the seroma, needles, and catheters within the soft tissue. In this paper we present two open-source technologies based on electromagnetic tracking: a navigation system to help target needles using a tracked needle guide, and software for electromagnetic reconstruction of catheter paths. These technologies were validated phantom studies. We found that the navigation system helped a radiation oncologist to target needles more accurately than under ultrasound guidance (60 needles under each condition, 3.8 vs 3.3 mm placement error, p = 0.04) and that reconstructed catheter paths were accurate within 0.6 mm to those determined on CT scans (144 catheters were compared to the 1.2 mm voxel size of CT scans, p < 0.001). We conclude that these technologies accurately localize anatomy and instruments in our study.
Keywords: breast brachytherapy; electromagnetic reconstruction; catheter reconstruction; navigation
Abstract: The technological development of the last decades resulted in the rise of entirely new paradigms in healthcare. Computer-Integrated Surgery (CIS) is providing innovative, minimally invasive solutions to heal complex injuries and diseases. It integrates robotic devices to the treatment delivery phase. By now, well over 6 million successful operations have been accomplished with various systems. In certain critical surgical procedures, where spatial accuracy is a must, physicians extensively rely on the help of CIS, and particularly on intra-operative navigation system. For these, the ways of use, including setup, registration and application accuracy metrics are provided by the manufacturers. Depending on the setup, inherent system errors can accumulate, and lead to significant deviation in position measurements. It is crucial to improve the precision of integrated setups, and to determine the overall task execution error. The stochastic approach proposed here offers an easy and straightforward solution to map and scale the error propagation. Applying pre-operative and on-site simulations, the optimal positioning of the navigation system can be achieved. This results in faster task execution and reduction of the probability of surgical errors. Surgical tracking systems have broader applications in endoscopic surgeries, and the method described in the article can be directly applied to these procedures too. It was tested in silico and on a neurosurgical prototype robot system developed at the Johns Hopkins University. The proposed features together can greatly increase the safety and reliability of all procedures where camera systems are involved, and ease the surgeon’s task and potentially reduce operating time.
Keywords: CIS accuracy; Image-Guided Surgery; robotic surgery; error propagation
Abstract: The practice of Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery (RAMIS) requires extensive skills from the human surgeons due to the special input device control, such as moving the surgical instruments, use of buttons, knobs, foot pedals and so. The global popularity of RAMIS created the need to objectively assess surgical skills, not just for quality assurance reasons, but for training feedback as well. Nowadays, there is still no routine surgical skill assessment happening during RAMIS training and education in the clinical practice. In this paper, a review of the manual and automated RAMIS skill assessment techniques is provided, focusing on their general applicability, robustness and clinical relevance.
Keywords: Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery; surgical robotics; surgical skill training; surgical skill assessment
Abstract: A new standard IEC 80601-2-77 will be issued to establish safety requirements for surgical robots under regulatory control. A new term Robotically Assisted Surgical Equipment (RASE) is introduced to cover a wide variety of mechanical structures, control algorithms, human-machine interface and intended surgical procedures. This article is to introduce the key ideas of this standard, the scope, to what extent this standard will be applicable and some of the specific requirements. The future of surgical robot safety, including the emerging autonomy is also mentioned.
Keywords: robot safety; medical device safety; invasiveness; robotically assisted surgical equipment; autonomy