A robotic laparoscopic tool with enhanced capabilities and modular actuation
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Due to the improved treatment outcomes, research on robotic MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) thrived in the past decades. A benchmark example is the da Vinci system that dominates robotic laparoscopy via its technology excellence and strong holding of intellectual properties. This study provides an alternative approach to realize robotic laparoscopic surgeries, by presenting the development and experimentation of the SMARLT (Strengthened Modularly Actuated Robotic Laparoscopic Tool) for MIS. A dual continuum mechanism is used in the design to achieve enhanced distal dexterity, improved reliability, increased payload capability, and actuation modularity. With kinematics modelling and actuation compensation, the SMARLT can be manipulated by a generic manipulator to carry out typical laparoscopic MIS tasks, such as tissue peeling, suturing, and knot tying. Payload capability was also experimentally characterized. The SMARLT-manipulator system essentially formed a continuum-rigid hybrid structure that makes full use of the advantages from each component: the continuum mechanism as a wrist for distal dexterity and other rigid parts for position accuracy and payload capability. With the experimental demonstration of the desired functionalities, the SMARLT design can lead to promising opportunities for commercialization.
Keywordsdexterous wrist dual continuum mechanism medical robotics modular laparoscopic tools surgical instruments
Supplementary material, approximately 9.84 MB.
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