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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Sensor Configurations for Robotic Surgical Instruments

Departamento de Ingeniería de Sistemas y Automática, Universidad de Málaga, Calle Dr. Ortiz Ramos, 29071 Málaga, Spain
School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, Whiteknights, RG6-6AY Reading, Berkshire, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Sensors 2015, 15(10), 27341-27358;
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 26 September 2015 / Accepted: 19 October 2015 / Published: 27 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Designing surgical instruments for robotic-assisted minimally-invasive surgery (RAMIS) is challenging due to constraints on the number and type of sensors imposed by considerations such as space or the need for sterilization. A new method for evaluating the usability of virtual teleoperated surgical instruments based on virtual sensors is presented. This method uses virtual prototyping of the surgical instrument with a dual physical interaction, which allows testing of different sensor configurations in a real environment. Moreover, the proposed approach has been applied to the evaluation of prototypes of a two-finger grasper for lump detection by remote pinching. In this example, the usability of a set of five different sensor configurations, with a different number of force sensors, is evaluated in terms of quantitative and qualitative measures in clinical experiments with 23 volunteers. As a result, the smallest number of force sensors needed in the surgical instrument that ensures the usability of the device can be determined. The details of the experimental setup are also included. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual sensors; force feedback; teleoperation virtual sensors; force feedback; teleoperation
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Gómez-de-Gabriel, J.M.; Harwin, W. Evaluation of Sensor Configurations for Robotic Surgical Instruments. Sensors 2015, 15, 27341-27358.

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