Haptic Implications Of Tool Flexibility In Surgical Teleoperation

Abstract—In space and surgical robotics applications, the desire is to use thin and lightweight manipulators and cable-driven end-effectors. This, however, introduces joint and/or link flexibility in the slave robot of a master-slave teleoperation system, reducing the effective stiffness of the slave and the transparency of teleoperation. Here, we analyze teleoperation transparency and stability under slave joint and link flexibility (tool flexibility) and evaluate the added benefits of using extra sensors at the tip of the flexible slave. One of the results of this paper is that tip velocity feedback can eliminate the display of joint or link flexibility to the user during a hard contact task.