National Technical University of Athens - School of Mechanical Engineering
Control Systems Lab
Evangelos Papadopoulos Research Group

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A novel five degrees of freedom (dof) haptic device is designed and developed as part of a medical training simulator. It consists of a 2-dof, 5-bar linkage and a 3-dof spherical joint. All dof are active. To reduce mechanism moving mass and inertia, all actuators are placed at the base. The transmission system is implemented using tendon drives with capstans. A great effort was placed in developing an optimum haptic mechanism, i.e. one with the best mechanical design under given kinematical. operational and constructional constraints. The device is suitable for the accurate application of small forces and moments. The above described haptic device is part of a medical training simulator for urological minimal invasive operations. The haptic mechanism is responsible for the haptic information exchange between the user and the virtual environment. The training simulator includes also a virtual reality tissue model that presents graphically the virtual human tissue and its deformation and calculates according to a fast and simple mathematical model the forces and torques applied to the user. The third part of the simulator is the control system, which controls and coordinates the other two. Simulators employing haptic devices are being used for the training in various medical operations. To be able to represent interaction between endoscopes and tissues, these simulators require relatively accurate models of tissue behavior. One way to obtain these models is to rely upon the experience of specialist surgeons. Therefore, the question that arises is whether we can use this experience to produce reliable force models for simulators. The study is implemented using a haptic mechanism with a single degree of freedom. The aim is to experimentally evaluate the extent to which the experience of a specialist can justifiably be used as a guide for defining the force model in a simulator.



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