Using A Redundant User Interface In Teleoperated Surgical Systems For Task Performance Enhancement

The enhanced dexterity and manipulability offered by master-slave teleoperated surgical systems have significantly improved the performance and safety of minimally invasive surgeries. However, effective manipulation of surgical robots is sometimes limited due to the mismatch between the slave and master robots' kinematics and workspace. The purpose of this paper is first to formulate a quantifiable measure of the combined master-slave system manipulability. Next, we develop a null-space controller for the redundant master robot that employs the proposed manipulability index to enhance the performance of teleoperation tasks by matching the kinematics of the redundant master robot to the kinematics of the slave robot. The null-space controller modulates the redundant degrees of freedom of the master robot to reshape its manipulability ellipsoid towards the manipulability ellipsoid of the slave robot. The manipulability ellipsoid is the geometric interpretation of the kinematics of a robot. By reshaping the master robot's manipulability, we match the master and slave robots' kinematics. We demonstrate that by using a redundant master robot, we are able to enhance the master-slave system manipulability and more intuitively transfer the slave robot's dexterity to the user. Simulation and experimental studies are performed to validate the performance of the proposed control strategy. Results demonstrate that by employing the proposed manipulability index, we can enhance the user's control over the force/velocity of a surgical robot and minimize the user's control effort for a teleoperated task.