Haptic Effects Of Surgical Teleoperator Flexibility

Abstract—Minimally invasive surgery systems typically involve thin and cable-driven surgical instruments. This introduces link and joint fexibility in the slave robot of a master-slave teleoperation system, reducing the effective stiffness of the slave and the transparency of teleoperation. In this paper, we analyze transparency under slave link and joint exibility (tool fexibility). We also evaluate the added benefits of using extra sensors at the tip of the fexible robot. It is shown that tip velocity (or position) feedback improves free-space position tracking performance in the presence of robot fexibility. Also, when the interaction forces with an environment are measured by a force sensor and fed back to the user's hand, tip velocity feedback improves hard-contact force tracking performance. During a hard contact task, tip velocity feedback can also eliminate the transmission of robot fexibility to the user's hand.