A Data-Driven Soft Sensor For Needle Deflection In Heterogeneous Tissue Using Just-in-Time Modelling

Global modelling has traditionally been the approach taken to estimate needle deflection in soft tissue. In this paper, we propose a new method based on local data-driven modelling of needle deflection. External measurements of needle-tissue interactions are collected from several insertions in ex-vivo tissue to form a cloud of data. Inputs to the system are the needle insertion depth, axial rotations, and the forces and torques measured at the needle base by a force sensor. When a new insertion is performed, the Just-in-Time (JIT) learning method estimates the model outputs given the current inputs to the needle-tissue system and the historical database. The query is compared to every observation in the database and is given weights according to some similarity criteria. Only a subset of historical data that is most relevant to the query is selected and a local linear model is fit to the selected points to estimate the query output. The model outputs the 3D deflection of the needle tip and the needle insertion force. The proposed approach is validated in ex-vivo multi-layered biological tissue in different needle insertion scenarios. Experimental results in 5 different case studies indicate an accuracy in predicting needle deflection of 0.81 mm and 1.24 mm in the horizontal and vertical planes, respectively, and an accuracy of 0.5 N in predicting the needle insertion force over 216 needle insertions.