Performance evaluation of haptic hand-controllers in a robot-assisted surgical system

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Abstract

Background

This paper presents the experimental evaluation of three commercially available haptic hand-controllers to evaluate which was more suitable to the participants.

Methods

Two surgeons and seven engineers performed two peg-in-hole tasks with different levels of difficulty. Each operator guided the end-effector of a Kuka manipulator that held surgical forceps and was equipped with a surgical microscope. Sigma 7, HD2 and PHANToM Premium 3.0 hand-controllers were compared. Ten measures were adopted to evaluate operators’ performances with respect to effort, speed and accuracy in completing a task, operator improvement during the tests, and the force applied by each haptic device.

Results

The best performance was observed with the Premium 3.0; the hand-piece was able to be held in a similar way to that used by surgeons to hold conventional tools.

Conclusions

Hand-controllers with a linkage structure similar to the human upper extremity take advantage of the inherent human brain connectome, resulting in improved surgeon performance during robotic-assisted surgery. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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