Tissue Interaction Feedback Modalities In Robot-Assisted Lump Localization

Abstract—Providing a surgeon with information regarding contacts made between tools and tissue during robot-assisted interventions can improve task efficiency and reliability. It is hypothesized that various modalities of contact feedback have the potential to enhance performance in a robot-assisted minimally invasive environment. In this paper, (kinesthetic) haptic feedback is compared with visual feedback of haptic information in terms of several performance metrics. Using a haptics-capable master-slave test-bed for endoscopic surgery, experiments involving a lump localization task are conducted and the performance of human subjects is compared for these two modalities of contact feedback. It is shown that the two feedback modalities result in comparable localization accuracies -- an advantage of visual haptic feedback due to the lower system complexity required -- while the task completion times are significantly shorter with haptic feedback.