Robotic technologies are being increasingly utilized for medical treatments to support surgeons and reduce the burden to patients. Flexible endoscopic surgical systems with an endoscope and flexible forceps robots are state-of-the-art devices that are expected to realize more difficult and less invasive surgery. Surgeons teleoperate these flexible forceps robots as their own hands and conduct various medical tasks. The wire-driven mechanism is applied to many flexible forceps robots to transmit the driving force to the tip of the robots in a narrow space. However, the flexible structure makes it difficult to control the wire-driven robots and implement the haptic technologies to realize safer surgery. In this paper, a force sensor-less, small-diameter flexible forceps robot with the ability to transmit haptic sensation is presented. The driving part at the tip of the flexible part, composed of a small actuator with a reduction mechanism, realizes the miniaturization of the robot. Haptic information is estimated by low resolution position information. The bending of the flexible part with electric wires does not deteriorate the performance of the end effector. The performance of the haptic flexible forceps robot is evaluated through experiments.
- Bilateral control
- Flexible endoscopic surgical system
- Flexible forceps robot
- Motion control
ASJC Scopus subject areas