Teleoperated minimally invasive surgical robots can significantly enhance a surgeon's accuracy, dexterity and visualization. However, current commercially available systems do not include significant haptic (force and tactile) feedback to the operator. This paper describes experiments to characterize this problem, as well as several methods to provide haptic feedback in order to improve surgeon's performance. There exist a variety of sensing and control methods that enable haptic feedback, although a number of practical considerations, e.g. cost, complexity and biocompatibility, present significant challenges. The ability of teleoperated robot‐assisted surgical systems to measure and display haptic information leads to a number of additional exciting clinical and scientific opportunities, such as active operator assistance through “virtual fixtures” and the automatic acquisition of tissue properties.
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